1. Avoid the Ways of Sinful Men
“My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them.” – Proverbs 1:10
Oh how many times have I thought about this? Well, maybe not this particular verse, but as a dad I’ve had many occasions where I’ve wondered what my boys will do when they are inevitably tempted to follow their peers into sin.
We are raising our sons to love God and love others, but there’s always the thought of, “What if what we’re doing isn’t enough?” Ultimately, all we can do is guide them in the right direction while praying for them and teaching them but in the end they will make their own choices. I pray for my boys that they will have the strength to ask the Lord to lead them away from temptation and to walk with Him.
This passage goes on to specify the sinful men as violent men who desire to “lie in wait for for innocent blood” (Proverbs 1:11). In the old days (i.e. late 19th and early 20th centuries) these men would have been called brutes. “Machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts” as Charlie Chaplin said (The Great Dictator). The Lord speaking through Solomon implores us to “not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush to evil, they are swift to shed blood” (1:15-16)
2. Unrightful Gain Destroys Us
“How useless it is to spread a net where every bird can see it! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves! Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it.” – Proverbs 1:17-19
Two things here:
- God sees everything we do. Holiness and wickedness are both seen by the Lord and our God is a god of justice. The Hebrew word is tsadak meaning justice (as in awarding justice for the innocent); it also happens to be my oldest son’s middle name. When we sin God gives us the chance to repent, but if we refuse He brings us to justice. Likewise, when others sin in general (or against us in particular) He gives them ample time to repent before judgement and justice.
- As men and women born in the image and likeness of God we all have a conscience. Christian’s uniquely have the Holy Spirit to give us guidance and help, but everybody has a conscience which is why even non-Christians feel bad when they do something wrong (or at least they should). Taking the life or property of another image-bearer should instill a level of guilt that we cannot live with ourselves.