My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
Good men resist the temptation of sin. Great men resist the efforts of others to get them to sin. No matter how advantageous and desirable an evil person or thing might be, they will not give in. They will hold to righteousness and truth regardless of consequences.
Sinners are not content sinning and going to hell by themselves. They want others in their wickedness. Bringing the innocent into their sinful activities and friendship helps justify their evil lives, and the devil uses them to corrupt and destroy God’s children.
The context describes a group of cutthroats luring an innocent young man into their gang (Pr 1:11-14). They offer him friendship, unity, success, and riches. The Preacher warned his son to stay away from them, for they were wicked and headed for ruin (Pr 1:15-19).
Strong men will not agree with sinners for any reason. They are committed to what is right, and the folly of fools angers them. They hate the wicked (Ps 101:3; 139:21-22). They could not care less what the wicked think or what they offer in their evil plans.
How do sinners entice – seduce, attract, or lure – saints? There are several ways, and their different methods provide excellent lessons for increasing in wisdom and understanding. To be wise and prudent, you must learn to identify sinners’ enticements and reject them.
First, there is family. Woe to those who exalt family over the Bible, for they will compromise true godliness to coddle family. What a cheap sell-out! For family? A dinner table with sinners and saints confused? So Jesus taught His disciples to hate family in comparison to Him (Luke 14:26). His doctrine divides families to test your love of Him (Matt 10:34-37). If you will not forsake family for Jesus Christ and the truth, you are not worthy of Him. Eli chose his sons, so God destroyed his family tree forever (I Sam 3:13).
Second, there is fear of man. If you worry about what others think or do, you trap your own soul (Pr 29:25). You will compromise Scripture to gain their approval. It is called peer pressure, when it involves children, but little is said when it involves adults. What a disgusting fear! Why not say, “I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb 13:6)? Peter, noble and brave in his intentions, compromised horribly before mere maids. And Pilate, warned by his wife and convicted himself, could not release Jesus before the Jews.
Third, there is association. Some are so desperate for friends, they will do anything to keep their standing. The implied unity of the proverb is precious to them. Standing alone overwhelms these weaklings. They need acceptance and support to survive. Believers among the Jews would not confess Jesus for fear of losing synagogue membership (John 12:42). God condemns this compromising association with sinners (Isaiah 8:9; II Chron 19:1-2). He is looking for men who will stand against the crowd like Joshua and Caleb.
Fourth, suggested or offered success is enticing. The young man was told he could fill his house with treasure, if he were to join the violent gang (Pr 1:13). How many men have sacrificed their convictions to get ahead in their profession? What a revolting trade! It took only thirty pieces of silver to buy the soul of Judas and sell the Lord Jesus Christ. It took only a little silver and two changes of clothes to buy the soul of Gehazi. How cheap!
The world’s enticements can be reduced to three kinds of sin – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I Jn 2:15-17). Satan used these three enticements on Eve, and they worked (Gen 3:6); he tried them on the Lord, but Jesus rejected all three. Are you able to identify these offerings by sinners and know your weakness for them?
Churches today offer a smorgasbord of dessert-like inventions for carnal Christians and the unregenerate. They boast of their growth and many programs to satisfy the lusts of every age and sex. They make great efforts to entice you to join them. Do not consent!
Dear reader, are you settled on the rock of God’s Word? Will you remain there regardless of who might entice you or what might be offered? Do you know your own soul and the weaknesses of it? Examine yourself, and remove yourself far from any peer temptations.
The Lord Jesus was enticed by the devil three times (Luke 4:1-13). Did He compromise at all? Not a chance! And what was His answer each time? It is written! Do you love the Second Adam for His infinite superiority to the First Adam? We praise Thee, O God!
Wise men will end unnecessary and/or tempting relationships with sinners (Pr 1:15). See the comments on Proverbs 13:20. David’s conviction to live a righteous life included cutting off any sinner among his acquaintances, even if it involved family members (Ps 101:4-8). Are you ready and willing to stand alone against all enticements of the wicked?