Proverbs 1: 8-19. (Section Entitled ‘The enticement of Sinners’)
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.
My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse”—
my son, do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your foot from their paths,
for their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird,
but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives.
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.
I have divided the passage into 3.
1. a) I doubt that Solomon was excluding daughters in his sayings. Personally I think that we have to have a major slice of modern purposefully unwise thinking to get upset because he says son. Often in my Ethiopian years if I asked how many children they had I got the tally of their sons; but that that did not mean they didn’t love their daughters – it was the cultural way of doing things. b) I don’t think that he was stupid enough to think that all parents advice is good. Stupid parents (and there are more than a few) give bad advice. c) But good parents, give good advice which if heard will adorn the character of the child.
2. Evil whatever you may name it – often uses people to tempt us to do wrong (sin). And they use very persuasive arguments to try and sway us. Don’t listen to them! Don’t, Don’t, Don’t! We have gangs on the streets; but we also have more refined and culturally acceptable groups who have the same motives. Just more refined! Solomon says ‘don’t join them’.
3. They may succeed for a while. But their traps, put in place to catch others, will end up catching them. And if you go with them you’ll get caught! They think they’re smart but it ends in ruin, either in time or eternity.
Prayer: Help me to be deaf to voices calling me to evil.