Warning Against Enticement
Verse 8&9 – There is just something about these verses that resonates with me. I don’t understand it as having to obey my parents to live a good life. My footnotes say that this is a typical way to begin a proverb, evoking a domestic situation of a father preparing his son for life in the world. However I understand it to be more metaphorical, that God is teaching us through His Word how we should live. That it is God who is teaching us the way of the world, whilst equipping us with wisdom, knowledge, beauty and honour, especially to His Name! We are, after all, living to give Him all the Glory and Honour that is due His Name! The imagery of a chain to adorn your neck in verse 9 causes me to reflect upon the earthly sacrifices and hardships we may endure because of it. Christ never promised that life would be easy, especially when following Him. If the world rejected Jesus, don’t expect them to willingly open their arms to us children of God.
Verses 10-14 – Here you will read the way of the world, and how easy it is to fall into its traps and ways. Verse 11 speak of personal enrichment through theft, murder and oppression; it makes known the major enticements of the world – 1) getting rich by exploiting others and 2) being drawn into the temptation of sexual immorality and adultery. Verse 13 we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder. This is completely contrary to what we learnt earlier, that Proverbs teaches us wisdom, the greatest riches people could ever gain. Although it is important to remember that these verses are written according to that specific culture, you can see how indifferent things are in today’s world. These verses are excellent sources of greed and evil pleasure. It is against such things that the Lord wishes to give us wisdom about. The vivid poetic imagery in verse 12 swallow them alive, like the grave, highlights the shameless victimising of others. Reading end verse 14 throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse, makes me realise that in partaking in these pleasures puts us in the same boat as the unbelievers – share of the same purse. God can’t tell you “I told you so”. Consider this your warning. These verses serve as a kind of forewarning.
Verses 15 – 19 – These verses are to me the words of God themselves. I know that the Bible is God-breathed, but I hope that you will read these verses yourselves and then understand what I mean. My son, do not go along with them, do not set food into their paths; for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood. Consider this your warning. God makes it plain that they will get what is due them, if not on earth, than in eternity: These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves! Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it. That makes a lot of sense! Think about all those people in prisons, have received the death sentence or have been freed from prison, only to find their lives to be torn apart and all alone. Is it worth it? How big is their chance of being able to really ‘live’ again? By this I mean that they have turned away from their previous sins. I believe that these verses really speak for themselves. My favourite verse would be 17- How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds. After having read these words, what a fool you would be to commit yourself to these ways! This reminds me of last week’s post regarding verse 7 and about the fool, and verse 2 about acquiring a disciplined and prudent life doing what is right and just and fair…This encourages me to embrace wisdom even more!