1. He refuses to seek it… so he never hears it in the first place.
2. He refuses to receive it. They hear it but reject it, and thus, are without counsel.
WHY would anyone refuse to get counsel?
1. Often it is the result of arrogance. By not seeking counsel we demonstrate that we think we know enough already.
a. Prov. 12:15 – ”The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”
2. Often it is the result of impulsiveness.
a. We like to act on impulse and gut feeling, rather than reason.
b. We don’t like to take the time to think an issue through… to seek advice and counsel.
c. So rather than listen to words of wisdom, we just do it!
3. Often it is the result of a lack of faith.
a. Why a lack of faith? Because God SAID to seek counsel because we need it. Those who refuse to seek counsel don’t believe God’s word of warning.
b. It is a demonstration of leaning on our OWN understanding… the opposite of faith. We are not trusting in God’s advice, but are trusting in our own wisdom.
c. Prov. 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
4. Often it stems from pride. (I don’t need their advice! If I ask for advice, they’ll think I’m foolish.)
15:22 – Purposes are disappointed.
1. Like the foolish driver traveling in Boston, trying to get to Kenmore Square, but is too proud to ask directions… and thus spends two hours driving in circles… and is too late for his appointment. His purpose of making the meeting was disappointed…
2. As Christians, we can be just as foolish. There may be a simple way of dealing with a spiritual problem, but we are too proud to ask for help… and thus we wander around in circles for years trying to get there on our own!
3. Without counsel, circumstances arise which defeat them which, with a little consultation and advice, might have been foreseen and prevented.
4. We discover the hard way that an ounce of preventative advice would have saved us from needing the 10 pounds of curative advice!
5. Often, all it takes for plans to be successful is a little tweaking here or there.
6. Wise counsel from people who have expertise in that area might mean the difference between success and failure.
• A coach might transform a lousy batter into a pretty good batter with some simple advice about how to stand or how to hold the bat!
• A skier can be spared falling down many times by taking advice from an expert—something as easy as bending the knees or leaning forward. Such counsel can prevent a fall.
7. How much MORE important is it when it comes to spiritual matters!
• The believer who thinks he knows how to live the Christian life may never ask for help or advice or counsel.
• He may never grow or mature in the faith either!
• He may WANT to grow and advance in the faith… and try real hard. But without counsel, even good purposes fail… and leave us disappointed.
11:14 – The people fall.
1. Solomon states here that with a little bit of counseling, those who might have experienced victory instead experience defeat—a fall.
2. Businesses fail because of a lack of counsel…
3. Teams lose games because the players refuse to listen to their coach and demand on playing the game their way…
4. Marriages fail because someone is too proud to get help… to listen to advice from the Bible… or refuse to implement it.
5. People make terrible choices sometimes because they make important decisions on their own. They don’t get advice from those in the know.
6. People FALL by not getting the counsel they need. Sometimes terrible decisions are made with irreversible consequences!
a. 13:1 – a wise son heareth his father’s instruction.
b. But sometimes a Christian child has unsaved parents.
c. That child should STILL listen to his parents. They may not know the Lord but they are still out for your good.
d. Of course be careful about their advice in spiritual matters.
e. Perhaps an unsaved young person could ADOPT some Christian parents in the church—to get their spiritual advice from them.
2. A Spirit filled Christian friend
a. Prov. 27:9 – the hearty counsel of a friend rejoices the heart.
b. Do you have a good, solid Christian friend? Someone you can bounce your ideas and goals off?
c. Prov. 27:17 – iron sharpens iron. (Speaks of spirited conversations… discussing and even debating issues… thinking an issue through…)
d. Prov. 27:6 – a true friend doesn’t just flatter us and tell us what we want to hear. He may have to wound us on occasion. That kind of advice is necessary!
3. Mature, Spirit filled brethren in the local church
a. Psa. 55:14 – We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
b. This was true in the Old Testament times. It should be true in this age as well.
c. When the saints gather for worship and fellowship, it should also be a time for sweet counsel!
d. Psa. 89:7 – the word “assembly” is the same word as counsel in Prov. 15:22! This indicates that an obvious purpose of assembling together is to counsel one another… to share together in spiritual things…
e. Gal. 6:1 – spiritual men can offer good counsel on walking with God.
4. Pastor and Elders in the local church
a. One of their qualifications is to be apt to teach…
b. They are spirit filled men who know God and His Word.
c. They have been serving God in the local church for quite some time… and have dealt with all kinds of issues… probably some just like your situation!
5. Seek Expertise: in a specialized field of knowledge (medicine; law; technology; creation science; nutrition; consult consumer guide… etc.)
6. Seek Experience: seek men and women with hands-on experience… (sports; art; music; someone who has experienced the same trial you are going through).
1. Purposes are established.
a. Those goals and plans will come to fruition!
b. And all it took was a little swallowing of one’s pride… a little humility… and ASKING someone in the know for advice!
c. Ask for directions and you might make it to the meeting on time!
d. Ask advice on buying a car and you might not end up with another lemon.
e. Ask advice in seeking a college; a career; a marriage partner; surgery; —things go much smoother and purposes are established when we seek good counsel.
2. Safety (11:14)
a. Many eyes see more than one.
b. Skiing: if somebody wants to warn you about a rock or a patch of ice—listen!
c. If someone wants to give a new driver advice about driving on route 93, listen.
1. The purpose of a multitude of counselors is NOT to go from counselor to counselor until you find one that tells you what you want to hear! That’s not seeking counsel. That is seeking confirmation for what you have already decided to do.
a. I Kings 12:8-16 – Solomon’s own son, Rehoboam sought counsel from the older, wiser men—but evidently didn’t like what he heard.
b. He continued to seek counsel from others (younger, less experienced men) who told him what he wanted to hear.
c. We will ALWAYS be able to find a counselor who will tell us what we want to hear… especially marriage counselors.
2. Not every Christian friend is Spirit filled. Not every believer has a good grasp of God’s Word. Not every believer is mature in the faith. Not every believer is wise. Not every believer is walking with the Lord. Not all advice from Christians is GOOD advice.
3. Be sure to get counsel on the BIG issues.
a. It isn’t necessary to seek counsel on every single issue… which shirt to buy…
b. Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war. 20:18
• Trained, experienced generals in the military seek counsel when they face war in various places in the world.
• Generals seek counsel concerning their strength, their resources, other branches of government, etc.
• Shouldn’t we seek counsel as we face spiritual battles in life?
4. Test everything by the Word of God. (Acts 17:11)
5. Don’t forget to go to the Wonderful Counselor first—the Mighty God! (Isa. 9:6)