10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
The wise father knows his son is likely to be tempted, so he warns him in advance. The first verse here is a rule of thumb. Don’t go along with sinful men, regardless of circumstances. They may appeal to your ego and boast about the fun you’ll have with them, but nothing good will come of it. Choose your companions wisely, because you will all end up in the same place.
While it may not happen right away, the wrong sort of friends will invite you into trouble. It is much better to have avoided such people in the first place, as peer pressure can be a difficult thing to resist. Yet you must put your values above your friends. If the two are in conflict, go with your values. If you associate with people who enjoy taking advantage of people, what makes you think they won’t also take advantage of you?
“Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit.” It is fitting that these people liken themselves to the grave, as they have much in common with it. Is there any joy to be found there? Any hope? Any contentment? Nor are these things to be found in the company of sinners. Their appetites are never satisfied, their lives are full of pessimism and disappointment. Let them go down to the pit without you; you will be glad you did.