Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
Wickedness is wrong! You know that. But you must also avoid friendships with wicked persons, and you must reject their lifestyles. Solomon warned his son against evil friends and their habits, for he wanted him in the way of wisdom and right paths (Pr 4:10-13).
The way of the wicked is dangerous and hopeless (Pr 4:16-19). Stay far away from it (Pr 4:15). You cannot embrace Lady Wisdom and enjoy her benefits while walking with sinners. True success and prosperity is rejecting worldly friends and their losing lifestyle.
This simple rule is crucial, especially for youth, because they are most susceptible to evil influences of peer pressure. They are more impressionable by what they see on television, which is nothing but glamorization of the way of the wicked. They are more vulnerable to the insinuations and subtle instruction of false teachers. This simple rule is crucial!
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners,” (I Cor 15:33). This is Paul’s warning of false teachers in Corinth denying the resurrection of the dead. Why the warning about deception? Most think they can resist the seduction of ungodly persons. Others think they can influence evil men to godliness. Both are wrong. Be not deceived.
David put it this way: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Ps 1:1). This rule would have saved Lot (Gen 13:10-13), Dinah (Gen 34:1), Solomon (I Kgs 11:1-10), Jehoshaphat (II Chr 18:1-3; 20:35-37; 21:1-6), and Peter (Matt 26:58). What about you?
Do not even enter the path of the wicked. But if you find yourself there, do not go any further with them. Get out! Now! Are you compromising this crucial rule? Where do you work out? Will you only marry in the Lord? What school have you chosen? How righteous are your friends? What do you read? Can you avoid a subdivision, if you have children? What music and television do you choose? Is there family you should avoid?
God is serious about separation from the wicked (Pr 9:6; 13:20; 14:7; 22:24-25; II Chron 19:2; Ps 101:3-8; Rom 16:17-18; I Cor 5:1-13; II Cor 6:14-17; Gal 1:6-9; Eph 5:11; II Thess 3:6; I Tim 6:5; II Tim 3:5; Titus 3:10-11; Jas 4:4; Rev 18:4). You cannot go out of the world (I Cor 5:9-10), but you must not conform to it (Rom 12:1-2; I John 2:15-17). All that is in the world from a moral, lifestyle, or worldview standpoint is against God.
What is the moral lifestyle of the wicked? Habits and preferences that promote sin! You can judge activities and places by those using them. Without analyzing rock-n-roll music directly, its artists, producers, and listeners condemn it – for they are generally wicked. There is no reason to study nightclubs; those who build them and use them love darkness.
How can you pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” but neglect, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation”? Do you need friends? Then make them good men who will provoke you to godliness (Pr 13:20; Ps 119:63,79; Tit 1:8). A true church of Jesus Christ will provide more friends with godly influence than you can ever rightly love and serve.