Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

[10 My son, if sinful men entice you,

   do not give in to them.

11 If they say…]

13 we will get all sorts of valuable things

   and fill our houses with plunder;

14 cast lots with us;

   we will all share the loot”—

 

 The enticement of sinful men follows the same pattern as all temptation. First it dismisses risk while promising great reward. In the face of this one must count the cost, as the promises of temptation are always deceitful. What use is plunder if you are caught and it is confiscated? How would such an undertaking affect your relationships – would it complicate your life with lies and deception? Would you be able to live at peace with the knowledge of what you’ve done?

 “Cast lots with us; we will all share the loot.” There is no mention of sharing the consequences, but it is as sure a thing as any. There will be plenty of anxiety to go around, no shortage of hardheartedness, and great potential for punishment and regret. There is also the question of trust; not only whether they will share the loot, but whether they will keep your secrets.

 On the other side of the deed, temptation flips the script. It began by convincing you that nothing bad would happen, now it tells you that things can only get worse. It promised you great satisfaction, only to leave you numb and empty. The one who gives in to the temptation of sin must then deal with the temptation to despair.

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