Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).
In our private concerns it is dangerous to trust our own wisdom, and it is our interest to advise with wise and faithful friends, in every important business of life. But in the affairs of countries, public calamity must be the inevitable consequence of the sovereign’s being not wise enough to know his need of asking and following the advice of wise men. If he asks the advice of wise men, and yet follows that of fools, he is no better than Rehoboam, who by such conduct rent his kingdom, and but for the kindness and faithfulness of God to David, in reserving two tribes to his grandson, would have lost it all.
Solomon had wisdom not only to teach, but to practise this maxim. He had wise counsellors under whom his kingdom flourished, and their counsels might have preserved the kingdom in the hands of his son. But God infatuates those whom he intends to punish; and there is not a plainer evidence of infatuation than when men presume on their own sense, or prefer the counsel of the vain and foolish to that of the sober and the wise.
Great is the judgment with which God visits a land, when he removes wise and faithful counsellors from the management of its concerns. In our intercession for kings, then, let us pray that God may furnish them with good counsellors, and with wisdom to make a proper use of them.
From “Exposition of the Book of Proverbs” by George Lawson.