How important is it for a national leader to be surrounded by godly counsellors? According to what we read here in Proverbs 25, it is absolutely vital! When a king, chancellor, or president is surrounded by the wicked - there is a much greater chance that his rule or administration will be visited with problems.
The picture that is given for us first is a silver vessel that is being made by a smelter or silver smith. If he is making something valuable and something that will last, he will take the time and the effort to remove the dross from the silver. This requires a crucible and a lot of heat. It requires watching over the silver to make sure that he scapes off all the dross that comes to the surface as it heats. Dross is the junk and impurities that are in the silver ore. As it heats up this rises to the top and can be scraped away. It is what will make the silver polluted, less valuable, and more liable to be brittle and break. If he takes the time to properly take the dross out of the silver - he will have something he can properly mold - and something that will both last and be very valuable.
The dross in any governmental structure is the wicked who are trying to influence and counsel the king. We read next that if the wicked are taken from before the king - his throne will be established in righteousness. The wicked are constantly trying to gain the king's ear - so this is often a matter of wisdom in the king himself - and how he views his power. If he sees power as something he himself has - and something he uses to do what he wants - he will be far less likely to take away the wicked from before him. The reason this is the case is that men will use flattery and his own ego against him. Consider the story of Daniel and the lion's den. The king's greatest ally and wise advisor was Daniel. But because the king was liable to be led astray by his own ego, he listened to men who wanted to declare a day where no one could pray to anyone except him. When he made the fateful choice to enact this law - he learned that any real honor to him was the farthest thing from the minds of his advisors. They lay in wait for Daniel to pray - knowing he would. Then they brought the king's most trusted advisor before him - demanding that he pay the price for his evil prayers to God. Even though the king hated the action - he did so - and were it not for God's intervention, Daniel would have been torn to pieces. This is why it is so important for a king to know WHERE he got his power - and HOW he is to use it.
Kings and presidents get their power from God. Ultimately He has allowed them to come into a position of power - and the king and president would be wise to use that power to advance God's agenda in that nation. We read that "righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. Therefore it is a wise king who removes wicked advisors from his presence and seeks to advance his kingdom on godly, righteous principles. Consider the advice of Ahithophel, who counselled Absalom when he robbed David of the kingdom of Israel. He told Absalom to rape the king's concubines in public view - to strengthen his kingdom. This was foolishness - because he was not strengthening anything but wickedness. God was not going to advance such a man - and it is no surprise that he was killed soon afterward in battle.
There is one misnomer I need to correct in commenting on this particular passage. The Bible does not say that this course will keep a king from trouble. Sometimes it puts a king in the crosshairs of the ungodly when he does this. But what is does do for a godly leader is place him in the safest of all places - the center of God's will. If a kingdom has previously been run by godless men and has been filled with godless leaders, there will be much opposition to this kind of rule. In the end, though, that king will be blessed, because historically, God rises up and brings wonderful deliverances to such a leader.
Something built with dross can look good upon first glance. It may even be useful for a time. But in the end - in a time of stress and testing - it will fail because it does not have inner strength upon which to draw in difficult times. It is far better to withstand the heat of becoming pure - because the heat (which is usually pretty unpleasant at the time) will in the end ensure greater strength and stability in the end. Therefore - pray for our president and for all our leaders. Do not be cowered into a corner by the separation of church and state crowd. Not only are they wrong constitutionally in their assertions, but more importantly - they are only seeking to lay a foundation that will NOT stand. Our forefathers understood much better that a nation built upon righteousness will stand. Any other foundation is only paving the way for failure in the end.