Good morning beloved and welcome to another moment of excavation in the Book of Proverbs. Let’s continue with a close look at verse 11 of Proverbs 1 – If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for innocent blood, let’s ambush some harmless soul; (NIV)
After Solomon had succeeded in creating the right atmosphere in his discussion with his child, he went on to give some insights into the tricks of sinners.
He didn’t stop at ‘‘if sinners entice you, do not consent’’ as some parents would do. He went into the specifics; this is a great lesson. Beloved, equip your listeners and children with the experiences you’ve had; open their eyes to the means employed by sinners to hunt you down.
You see, satan may have improved on most of his tricks with time – he always adapts his repertoire of temptations to every generation – but his model of wooing us to himself remains the same, which is, come along with us. Once they are equipped with such information, it becomes less difficult to see the hands and feet of that old serpent, satan.
This is related to what we discussed some months ago, on the need to always explain “WHY” to your children and listeners. Because it is the why that will keep them when you aren’t there to supervise them.
Understand your child and the best way to talk to him/her
I know that humans differ in their understanding and reception of counsels, but one similarity I’ve observed in most people is that they readily understand and follow when spoken to in the right manner – in the right way, at the right time, right place and with the right voice tone.
Sometimes I observe, with great pain, how much people shout, thinking that with such hoarseness their hearers will be convinced to purchase their products. I however know that some people won’t understand until you’ve beaten them with heavy words and coarse sounds. But that should be reserved for such situations; we are HUMANS and not beasts except an individual makes himself/herself one, but God forbid!
It, therefore, beholds every parent to understand his/her child. This will enable you to know how best to pass instructions because not every child understands ‘‘Will you stop that and get out, idiot!’’ You may well be raising an idiot who will never get to understand you all his/her life. Also, the fact that your parents were stern and maltreated you doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do the same to your kids; just be proportionate – don’t be too soft like Eli nor go to embrace the attitude of one of my old neighbours. Children need to be studied and understood with the help of God’s Spirit.
Growing up, I discovered that my parents (my Dad especially) will always reason with us in a calm and understanding manner; his words penetrated the fabrics of my being whenever he called to counsel me, I think my siblings have the same story. Most times, I washed the plates and swept the parlour, not for the fear of being scolded and spanked, but to make him happy.
He had gone through a lot in his life – growing up almost as an orphan and family rejection for the sake of Christ – that I decided never to add to his sorrows. All these happened because he knew (to a great extent) the best way to communicate with us. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t times he spanked me; as a matter of fact, I use to have a mark on my forearm that continually reminded me of his painful strokes, thank God the mark is hardly noticeable now. 🙂
So, Solomon knew that pleading with his son’s heart was the best way to instil these all-important instructions into him.
Now a brief look into what Solomon told him. May I quickly point out that just like in many places in the scriptures, not every trick employed by sinners is listed. What we read are pithy sentences whose wealthy meanings are at the doorsteps of anyone who MEDITATES – Yes, meditates not just reads.
‘‘If they say…’’ – Kindly read my previous article on Proverbs 1:10, where I explained this phrase.
“Come with us”
This is the classic model of presentation of temptation by satan and his children. The sentence sounds harmless yet enticing. ‘‘Let’s just have a drink’’ ‘‘Can you escort me to see a friend?’’ ‘‘Please, will you be free to come around today?’’ etc. Of course, they sound normal and without ulterior motives, don’t they? I’m not advising that you reject a cup of coffee together or that you start suspecting every invitation offered to you by friends. Not at all!
Of course, you know that no matter how suspicious you are or might become, the devil has tricks that are quite subtle and can go undetected. So, the only guarantee is to trust the Lord for discernment and adhere to the inner whisperings of His Spirit. That’s the best way to detect subtle enticements and unholy invitations.
“let’s lie in wait for innocent blood”
After they have asked you to come along with them, the next thing is to explain their mission to you. While “come along with us” looked harmless, “let’s lie in wait for blood” looks quite destructive. This is the classical presentation of sin; at first, it looks bland, but the more you go along with sinners, the more it gets messy. You give satan a foot, and he takes the entire body. You house one of his properties and he relocates with all his belongings to your heart.
Also, the clause above shows you how robber bands are formed. In fact, verses 10 through 14 of Proverbs 1 show us how gangs are formed till today. They start with a few drinks and discussions, then progress into taking the lives of innocent people. And the more you do this, the more it gets difficult for you to detach because you begin to see it as a normal life and deaden your conscience.
Someone may be so quick to say how he has never spilt the blood of the innocent but just wait a moment. Have you forgotten about that friend you rubbished his/her image? Are you so quick not to recall the incident that left that man/woman/boy/girl heartbroken and wishing to die? May I tell you that those piercing words marked his/her end; yes, you succeeded in killing him/her that day. Clap for yourself; she is dead, you’ve gotten what you wanted and care less about her tarnished image.
And you even vaunt about your ability to say piercing and deadly words; ‘‘if I open my mouth, you’re finished’’ you often boast. I always remember the still small voice of God’s Spirit that whispered into my ears many years ago as a teenager; it said ‘‘Don’t ever commit murder because the price is extremely exorbitant’’. What can be said about people who consciously take the lives of others with arms? Needless to say that they will experience the woes already proclaimed by God. Don’t kill with your words and actions!
“let’s ambush some harmless soul”
Oh poor harmless soul, who shall let him know that some malefactors are planning evil against him? Who will tell him that some sons of Belial are lurking in the bush to waste his life? Well, the Lord shall arise and discomfit them.
This is what is happening in several parts of the world, where innocent, harmless lives are wasted daily by terrorists, sometimes with the assent of political and traditional rulers.
This is what is happening in our cities, where young men ambush and rape innocent girls for stupid reasons.
This is what is happening in the workplaces, business arenas and in banks/investment institutions, where cunning people deceive, cheat and defraud innocent people of their hard-earned money.
This is what you are doing when you accuse innocent people of wrongs they never did. When you smear the image of friends to exonerate yourself. When you backbite, gossip and spread falsehood for personal gains, to the detriment of your innocent victims.
Finally, let me point out something concerning the harmless soul. As I read those two words, some questions began to spring up in my mind. Questions like: am I harmless? Are people not scared to come around me? Are they not afraid of my irritability? They are afraid to tell me my faults for fear of my caustic response. Oh, God! Help Caleb.
Beloved, if you’ve gotten to the point where no one can call you to order, then, you need to cry out unto the Lord. People fast and pray for healing; you need to cry out in praying and fasting for a change, else you’re one step to doom.
As Christians, our thoughts, words and actions should always be harmless; Let your words be comforting, gracious, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6).
Thanks for reading. If you found this article helpful, kindly share it with your contacts. God bless you and see you tomorrow with another dose of inspiration.
I’ll be waiting for your messages and comments on what God taught you as you read Proverbs 11:1.