Sunday, September 20, 2009

Proverbs 11: 14 The Need for Counsel

Proverbs 11: 14 (NKJV)

14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Counsel: 1. The act of exchanging opinions and ideas; consultation. 2. Advice or guidance, especially as solicited from a knowledgeable person. 3. A plan of action. 4. Private, guarded thoughts or opinions: 5. A lawyer or group of lawyers giving legal advice and especially conducting a case in court.

Counselors: 1. A person who gives counsel; an adviser. 2. An attorney, especially a trial lawyer.

In the Jewish culture, as we have seen before, the elders and wise men of the community would gather at the gates or certain special places in the towns and cities to discuss important matters. Often the younger men (Jewish men were considered to be “men” after their bar mitzvah at age 13) would come to learn by listening to the elder’s discussions. This is one of the main ways that they would learn.

With this type of cultural life, the young person would learn how wise it was to listen to or “take counsel” from older, more knowledgable people around them. They would see that those that despised listening to, and learning from, these leaders would cause people to have many problems and fall into many of life’s “traps.” Conversely, those that do mingle with, and learn from, the wise, will make wise decisions.

We need to understand that when we have problems or big decisions to make, we should step back and find someone who is proficient in that type of problem or decision, and consult with them. It would be wise to discuss the various points, so that we will be able to make informed decisions before we make our plan of action. We should beware of trying to figure out “big things” without taking “counsel,” for God says that could cause us to “fall.”

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