How often have we been cautioned about the people we associate with; warned of the dangers that lie in their actions and their plans? And yet, despite the warnings, we find ourselves among their numbers, doing the very thing that we have been cautioned not the do.
As parents we think about the people who our children hang around with. I know, as a father, I want my boys to surround themselves with boys that will not lead them to place and decisions that are unwise. But are we thinking even about ourselves and the group of people, men, that we surround ourselves with.
Clearly in out text, the warning for us is to be careful that we not fall in with those who seek destruction. Here we meet a group of ‘sinners’ who suggest we take advantage of others. It’s a vicious plan to spill blood, to steal what they have, becoming rich from another’s expense. These are bad men. But while they seek the destruction of other, what they really find is their own destruction.
I think we learn three things.
1. Beware of sinners.
The warning is simple and clear, don’t be enticed by the sinful man. I think of the phrasing that says, ‘The Grass isn’t always greener…’ Often we hear the stories of the unbeliever and are minds wander to the place where that lifestyle becomes appealing. The warning for us is that we not be enticed, or influenced, or swayed by the life or the plans of the unbelievers. In fact, we’re instructed to not give into them.
2. Beware of the ill conceived plans of the non-believer.
What is it the the sinners seek to do? Kill. Steal and destroy. Sound familiar? It should, it’s the same plan of the master if sin. All that the sinners want to do is destroy what everyone else has in order to build what they have. The problem is, the only destruction they’ll see is their own. Beware of the sinners and their plans.
3. Beware of our responsibility for the decisions we make.
I love that this Proverb is not addressed to the sinners, but to us. Notice that the writer doesn’t say to the sinners, don’t entice the believer. No, the call is for us as believers to be aware of the sinners. We live in a culture of blame. Nothing is our fault. It’s our parents fault. It’s way we were brought up. It’s the governments fault. True , these may have served to be negative influences, but we alone are responsible for the decisions we make, the actions we take, and the consequence that follow. If you want to live a life of wisdom, you must make the decisions to live the life of wisdom and avoid the decisions that lead to destruction.