Solomon points out several crooked paths that a man might take; a wicked man. But the righteous survives long enough to acquire grey hair.
My Bible helps titles this group of scriptures “a way that seems right … but”. It is hard to imagine the ways described here as “right” to anyone. Satan is a convincing liar. IF given the opportunity he could sell ice to an Eskom. He has a talent for making what is wrong seem right. Look at our society today if you doubt that.
Isaiah addresses that very issue: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). THIS is happening in every corner of the United States of America right now. I have a feeling that it is happening just as much in every corner of the globe. It is exactly what Jesus said would happen in the end days.
The list Solomon gives us a few examples of behavior that God does not accept. Like all sin, these behaviors start with the heart and mind. NEVER is one immediately dragged into the ‘deep end’ with sin. It is a slow, gradual march from little things to all out destruction. Some of the paths that Solomon points out begin with evil intent, lies, and violence. These attitudes make themselves known in a man’s actions. And they grow into more daring feats as he/she gets away with the behavior.
The evil being plotted by the worthless man could have grown out of the seed of gossiping about your neighbor or friend in church. This also encompasses the man or woman who spread false or half true stories. They certainly stir up people with their gossip. Gossip definitely “spreads strife” (verse 28).
Enticing someone to steal may even be harder. I’m pretty sure the grownups most people KNOW that stealing is wrong. We were all taught that concept as young children. Even children of parents who don’t believe in God, hold fast to this concept. Satan has to work on a heart for a while, or find one already open to the idea, to get a willing participant in this crime. It takes relationship building to convince someone to ‘cross over’ into this kind of sin. Satan starts small and works his way up to the ‘big score’. Little things like supplies from work or a small piece of candy are on the top of the list for starter crimes of theft. Those who feel guilty over these don’t usually escalate to bigger thefts. Those who ‘get a rush’ out of these activities keep pushing forwards for an even bigger schemes.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (verse 25). This will bite us every time we fail to check out our plans with the Father. When we ask God to open doors, He will not give us dishonest way into what He has planned for us. He will take us on righteous paths. Ones that lead to life. If He isn’t opening the door there is probably a reason. Don’t try prying it open or look for a window instead. HE knows the right path for us. H will NOT lead us down one that will bring us to death. He wants to see our “grey hairs”. That means we were wise enough to survive our early years.
Father God, I trust You to know the paths for me. I trust you to bring me the friends that won’t try and lead me down the wrong paths. I ALSO trust You to warn me when I start looking to the wrong ‘friends’; the ones that carry death wherever they go. Make me also as wise as a serpent but as gentle as a dove.
Holy Spirit, THANK YOU for speaking to my heart at all times. Your touch is what causes me to turn away. You kept me safe in my youth and continue to do so today. I know there are areas of my life that I turned a deaf ear to Your direction. THANK YOU for keeping me from harm, especially in those areas. Keep calling! I commit to keep listening!