Posted October 17, 2016
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
The book of Proverbs is a collection of wisdom texts written with an aim of helping its readers understand how to live well and wisely in the world God has made. It contains both warnings the reader should heed as well as exhortations as to what sort of life we should pursue both before God and man. In this short verse, the reader is exhorted as a son to not consent or give in to the enticement of sinners.
Many might ask immediately upon reading this, who are these sinners? Doesn’t the Bible teach us that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), including the very person writing this? While this is true, Ray Ortlund comments, “The structure of this Hebrew noun suggests habitual, chronic sinners. In the extreme, this kind of person is a professional criminal, like the bad guys in The Godfather. Bullying is how some people make their way through the world. The key to this human profile is anyone who gets ahead by his own devices, anyone who is out for number one. They are the ‘sinners’ of whom we must be aware. They are out there. You will encounter them.”
Instead of giving ourselves over to sinners and their wicked ways, what should we be about instead? Just three verses prior to this one (Proverbs 1:7), we are told that the beginning or starting place of knowledge is possessing a fear of the Lord. This biblical fear is less a scary sort of fear, and more a reverential awe and respect of God and humility before Him. It’s a sober awareness that we aren’t the center of the universe but rather God is! We live in His world and we are His creatures. In this world that God has created, the truth of the matter is we will be consumed and captivated by something or someone! May we turn away from the way of sinners and folly which always over-promises and under-delivers, and turn toward and walk in the way of wisdom and fear of the Lord. He knows us, He loves us, and will guide us into true flourishing and joy.
Song by Edbrooke Collective.
Produced by Adam Anglin.
Mix by Dustin Peterson.
Artwork by Micah Schmiedeskamp.
Devotional by Joel Limpic.