Good day, and welcome to another moment of mining the treasures buried in the book of Proverbs.
As I said at the beginning of this series, the following write-ups are personal lessons I learn as I read these beautiful passages of the scriptures. They are not intended for historical studies nor that of syntax/lexical semantics of the book of Proverbs. For such purposes, you may need to purchase some books, and I’m sure they will enrich you greatly – you won’t regret such an investment.
Today, we are perusing verse 10 of Proverbs 1: “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”
This is one verse every Christian must have heard, read and even talked on. But revisiting things heard, read or talked about with some eagerness for new inspiration has often left me baffled at the number of things I never saw earlier in that passage. I get to see how that passage, which applied to me then, applies today and will always remain valid even till my hoary head.
May I quickly point out that although these verses, when studied in their context, speak directly to the youths, we should have the attitude of constantly seeing God speak to us as HIS ‘sons.’ That way, you don’t get to lose a great deal of wisdom, instructions, understanding and guidance. Simply put, God is speaking to everyone, in spite of the age bracket.
From verse 10, we begin to see those instructions and laws Solomon had talked about in verses 8 and 9. He used verses 8 and 9 to prepare the heart soil of the son/daughter so it’ll be receptive to the instructions that will be given.
And now, may we read — ‘‘my son, if sinners entice you, do not consent’’ (ESV) – Proverbs 1:10.
Here, I see Solomon using an endearing phrase – my son. I tried to create an imaginary scene, where Solomon is sitting with his beloved son in a quiet and lonely place, when men have gone to rest, and he whispers, ‘‘my son’’.
To me, that shows a father that really wants to pass some understanding to his son; a father who wishes someone had told him the things that he wants to say now; or better still, a father who these pieces of advice helped a lot in life; or unfortunately, a father who now regrets his refusal to heed to the things that were told him by his late father and mother. He was speaking out of love to his beloved child. I want you to see God doing the same tonight to you.
“If sinners entice you” — Permit me to change this to something like, ‘‘WHEN sinners entice you’’ because sinners must surely entice you – you neither wish for it nor pray against it, for the enticement (the temptation to sin) must come as long as the earth lasts.
I recall that growing up, as a little boy, my agemates would often talk about the various means to getting a moustache, sideburns and beards. Means that sounded more like fables that have been passed on from one generation to another, like making use of certain substances, including applying alcohol on the skin surfaces of these mentioned areas.
The purpose of doing this was to get the attraction of the female gender, as these hairs supposedly show how mature they’ve become (by displaying the sideburns, beards and moustache… Funny, isn’t it?).
Well, I believe some of them are praying that the beards should stop growing so quickly now because shaving them every morning isn’t particularly gratifying. Also, they now understand that there are many ways to show maturity besides having beards, moustaches and sideburns.
This to tell you that enticement is something that begins even from a young age and continues through adulthood. Sometimes, they come in ways that may simulate a normal lifestyle, harmless and legitimate. So, it’s expected of every Christian to discern them, no matter how innocuous they may appear.
‘‘Do not consent’’— This is a difficult reaction that we are faced with daily – saying no (openly and inwardly) to the various tricks employed by the devil and his cohorts to seduce us.
While some sinners are conscious about what they are trying to lure us into, others are simply used as instruments in the hands of their master (the devil). We are to say NO!
When Solomon told his son never to consent, he was sure that the son had the ability to refuse them if he wills; he can stand them no matter how compelling they are. God knows that we are strong enough to say no. For, “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
However, I believe that although paying careful attention to detect these enticements is a good practice, it is never 100% efficient, as humans have limits (because we are still carrying the flesh that constantly lusts after sin). It means that we must daily repose our trust in God, believing Him for the strength to overcome, even in the face of the most sophisticated tricks of the devil and his cohorts.
Just bow your head and ask God to help you to stand. It is neither by power nor by might, but by God’s Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). You can also be restored if you’ve fallen.
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will stand up;
though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.(Micah 7:8)
Remember to read the passage and share with me what you learnt; it should be a symbiotic relationship, you know. I shall be expecting your messages and comments.
God bless you and see you tomorrow with another dose of inspiration.