Drinking Deeply

Monday, June 05, 2006 at 11:44 PM

Proverbs 1:Wisdom's Call(5)

Been a while, but I wanted to at least finish up Proverbs 1 before moving on. I'm still thinking about manhood and what that entails. Someone requested a book on "The Trinity/Marraige/Dating/Relationship Book of Everything by Mickey Sheu." Maybe I'll do a blogpost =).

Proverbs 1:

10My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
11If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
12like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
14throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse"--
15my son, do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your foot from their paths,
16for their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
17For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird,
18but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives.
19Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.
Previously we've talked about a few things: How the book of Proverbs was general rules for living rather than guarenteed "if-then" statements. How the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom, not some simple "God loves me" statement. How obedience to the teaching of one's parents (and that pertaining to the Lord) was important and necessary. And how our adornment was not in the worldly things like clothing or physical appearance, but rather in the obedience of the laws of the Lord.

We read this passage and we're like "ok great, that's cool. Don't go and murder people. Got it, next!" and I'll be honest, that's what I usually do. I've been reading the book of Proverbs, one chapter a day, 31 in a month (if the month is short I double up) and it's so easy to briefly read something and move on. But this desire to go through Proverbs 1 has caused me to stop for a moment and read it again, except slowly, and it only serves to convict me. How have I been so blind to the richness of the message God has left me? How often have I treated these words with casualness?

The passage opens with our warning:
10My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
Don't listen to sinners when they are "enticing" you. Not that all people who are sinners are completely and absolutely wrong about everything (as it would be clear that the son would have no reason to listen to his father), but don't listen to sinners if they entice you. If they try to draw you into their pattern of thought and their way of life and away from God.

The next few verses say:
11If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
12like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
But this passage isn't just talking about murder. Murder is easy to avoid. No, the passage is talking about a much broader concept, with murder just an example.

V. 19 makes clear what this passage is talking about:
19Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.
No, what the passage is talking about is not just murder. It would be so easy to not listen to people when they ask us to help them kill someone else. Ok, maybe it would be easy to say no to someone who was like "let's go get some unjust gain for ourselves!" But what about more subtle cases of unjust gain? What about those cases where it's not "greed" so much as... "convenience"? A friend of mine mentioned this to me and it was so incredibly convicting. If we're supposed to be Christians, distinct from the world, why do we steal music like the world does? Why do we steal software like the world does? It was something that cut straight to my heart. Sure it's easier just to borrow a friend's copy of Microsoft Office instead of buying my own (or using an alternative software). It's certainly really easy to download movies and tv shows online illegally for our personal entertainment. It's not "greedy." I'm not trying to acquire wealth for the sake of aquiring wealth. But what I'm trying to do is to circumvent the established order because I think something else is right according to my standard. "Oh, those musicians make a lot of money already, a few songs are nothing." "Why do they charge so much for photoshop? It's not that good?" "Everyone else does it, it's not a big deal. In fact just last week (insert name) offered to burn me an illegal copy of Office 2000."

(to be continued)

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