My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: (16) For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. (17) Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. (18) And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. (19) So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.Proverbs 1:15-19
Let us review what we have learned this week.
- The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
- Listen and obey the wisdom of your elders.
- Do not consent to the enticement of evil doers.
- Evil doers will try to entice you through the prospect of prosperity through evil doing.
In today’s text, Solomon continues to articulate wisdom to his son regarding this issue of being enticed to sin. He says not to even go near these kinds of people. “Walk not though in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path”. This would include consenting and following them in this proposition. I believe it would also include even going around these kinds of people and finding yourself in a situation where they could entice you. Solomon’s father, David, put it this way in Psalm 1:1:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.Psalm 1:1
Notice the three postures in this verse- Walking, standing and sitting. The problem is that walking can lead to standing and standing to sitting. The evil influence, if left unchecked, can grow, and the converse of this verse can become true in our lives. We forfeit blessing when we allow evil people to influence us toward folly. Back in Proverbs 1:18 it states that these people lie in wait for their own blood. Many people who tried to get rich quick by victimizing others have found themselves impoverished, physically harmed, and facing the overwhelming consequences of their own behavior.
For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.Psalm 1:6
There are times when it may seem that evil people prosper but know that God will not be mocked. People will reap what they sew.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7
In a very real sense, the person who fears the Lord and walks according to wisdom will experience ultimate blessing. The person who does not fear the Lord and involves themselves in greedy schemes to victimize others for gain will ultimately pay for the things that they do.
The good news is that although all of us have been foolish, greedy, and done evil, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, took our punishment on the cross. If we place our faith in trust in Him, He has promised to save us. He then sends His Spirit to conform us to the image of Christ. He can change our behavior by transforming our thinking and desires.
- Take a few moments to evaluate what you are sowing and reaping.
- Are your relationships characterized by people who fear the Lord, or people who are involved in folly? Are you soaring with eagles or running with turkeys?