Proverbs 27: King James Bible
Hearty Counsel – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty seven, Verses 9-10
9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. 10 Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Hearty Counsel
The Word of the Lord makes it quite clear, that the counsel of the Father is the ultimate source of help for those who are in need of it. That includes help of all types, as the Lord seeks to be involved with as many details of our lives as we’ll allow him.
One of the strange ways the Lord decides to give us answers to different things that we present to him, is through other people. In the pieces of scripture above, the Lord is comparing hearty counsel given by a friend to taking in a pleasing odor.
Why use odor as an example?
One of the things that work as a blessing and a curse all at once, is having a bunch of cats. Cats are great, and they are all kinds of fun, loving, furry balls of cuteness. However, when you have a bunch of cats, it isn’t long before you are forced to deal with unpleasant odors.
Sometimes it’s easy not to recognize pleasant odors, until it’s been replaced with bad ones. Cats are more than willing to do that for you as a ‘thank you’ for feeding them so well. It’s amazing how quickly we want to remove a bad smell from our nostrils. Just like anything else in life really, you don’t know what you’ve got, till it’s gone. Once the pleasant smells go away, we instantly want to find someplace where the bad smells haven’t hit yet, or get rid of the source.
If hearty counsel from a friend would be considered akin to what ointment and perfume does to the heart, then bad counsel could be considered akin to what an overused cat’s box does to the heart. If only we understood the difference between hearty and bad counsel as well as we understand the difference between good and bad odors.
Both are available when friends are concerned. We can get real help driven advice from friends, or we can get the worst ideas in the world from friends. At the end of the day, if whatever advice we receive over any matter goes against the Word of the Lord, then set it aside as something that just might stink.
However, if you wind up with good hearty counsel from your friend(s), and it corresponds with the Word of the Lord, move on and take it to prayer. It just may be, that the Lord is providing you with answers to something that you’ve brought to his attention.
Answers through Others
This is something that we see the Lord doing in the Bible from cover to cover. Yes, the Lord will speak to us personally in a variety of ways. But often he’ll get a message through to someone by means of using someone else to do so.
Any time a king or a person of note in the Bible approached an honest prophet was taking part in this kind of thing. How about Moses relaying to all of Israel what the Lord had to say up on top of the mountain? That’s probably the most obvious Old Testament reference we could use.
In the New, I think of the apostle that was instructed to go to Paul (who was still being called Saul at the time), just after he was struck blind on the road to Damascus. In either Old or New Testaments, the common thread was the presence of the Holy Ghost giving instruction.
It is our responsibility to discern the difference between Holy Ghost driven counsel and worldly counsel no matter who we might receive it from. We are without excuse, because as Christians with a spirit born anew, we have access to the Word of the Lord, and the lead of the Holy Ghost through his Word. We have things at our disposal that those before us never had.
Hearty counsel from a friend will stand strong having been held up against the Word, coinciding with it. And when it translates into an answer to prayer, or aids us in resolving an issue we’re dealing with in ways we couldn’t think of ourselves, how sweet it is!
Into your brother’s house
A quick word about what the scripture above says about going into your brother’s house in the day of your calamity… Actually a quick couple of words because there are a couple of directions that we can take that could apply.
The day of your calamity
The last thing we need to do ever, is deal with a problem when we’re in the thick of it, when we could have dealt with it before it was even a problem. Makes sense right? Well, if we’re knocking on our brother’s door on the day of our calamity, what are we doing?
To me anyways, this epitomizes waiting till the last minute is over, then looking for some counsel. I can think of all kinds of circumstances that when you wait until you’re in the middle of your calamity, you’re no longer seeking hearty counsel, but are looking for a different kind of help. The kind of help that actually places a type of burden on your brother, rather than some constructive advice.
Another reason I believe the Lord says what he does in the verse above (verse 10), is because sometimes we tend to want to depend on others before we even think to include the Father in our situation. It’s not difficult for the Lord to answer questions that we’ve not asked, and he’ll do it if the need arises.
But if by knee jerk reaction we seek counsel from our brother or friends before being active in seeking out answers from the Father, who are we placing first in that situation? It’s easy to include the Lord in every situation in your life, after you’ve come to the understanding that he’s always there.
He will never leave us or forsake us. As soon as a situation arises that requires some form of counsel, he’s already there and available to talk to. Why not bring it before him immediately, so he can get the ball rolling on your answers, and establish means by which he chooses to provide you with some hearty council?
Related New Testament Scripture
Luke 7: King James Bible
30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
Acts 5: King James Bible
38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
Acts 20: King James Bible
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
1 Corinthians 10: King James Bible
11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Thank you for always being there to hear your children when they cry out to you. And thank you for all of the things that you’ve answered, and forgive us for any occasion where we didn’t recognize your hand at work. Quicken our spirit through your Holy Spirit with counsel directed by your Word, if the time comes for someone to come seeking any hearty counsel from us. At the same time Father, lead us to wherever you’ve placed that same wise and hearty counsel for us. Be it in your Word or from a friend. Aid us in discerning between spirits and counsel, whether it be from you or not, so that we do not become deceived. Thank you Father, and these things we pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you ever noticed that real hearty counsel rarely tickles the ears?
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 17 P. 234 – Friends and Family
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 18 P. 255 – A Friend
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 11 P.114 – The Multitude of Counselors
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 14 P.160 – Friends with the World
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 27 P. 415 – Wounds of a Friend