22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23 For lack of discipline they will die,
led astray by their own great folly.
We have been told “to fear the Lord is to hate evil,” that this is something “those who love the Lord” ought to do. Here we are given insight into why this is essential. It may seem that evil has its perpetrators and its victims, but the truth is that in the end there are only victims. Those who try to use evil are only used by it, those who reject morality under the guise of freedom become slaves of immorality. Tragically there is no shortage of evil in the world, which it is easy to recognize and hate. But the greatest threat comes from within, as we cannot avoid our own deeds and escape our own sins.
“For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.” We may blame our circumstances on our family, on society or on the devil himself – but what good does that do? There are always two things within our control: the choices we make and the paths we take. A person may have every disadvantage, but it is still their own discipline which determines their fate. They may have the best of intentions, but it is the path they take that determines where they end up.