There is bad company then there is BAD company. The greater of the two is the one who drags you into trouble with the law. You are left hanging by such ‘friends’.
Getting in trouble with the Lord is worse than getting in trouble with man. But remedying trouble with the Lord is easier than with the law. God forgives when we repent. Man still holds a trial and enforces a jail sentence when convicted. Such is the fate of a criminal; eventually.
Jail or the grave are the two destinations for someone who runs with a gang. Someone who partners with a criminal has the same two destinations. Solomon says such a person “hates his own life”. This is because he has chosen the same fate as his partner. They both value things over their own lives.
In the laws where I live, United States of America, someone who helps or even goes along with another who is committing a crime is equally guilty of the offense, ESPECIALLY if someone dies during it or as a result of it. The one who holds the bag is just as guilty as the one who carries the gun. Often though, the one with the lesser involvement will be offered a lighter sentence if they cooperate in sending their partner to jail.
Then you come up against the second part of our verse; “he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.” This is when the partner is more afraid of his criminal partner than he is of the consequences from the law. This happens a lot when the criminal is well connected and will kill anyone who ‘talks’. So, the little man’s life is ruined no matter which way he turns.
I believe the lesson for us is to watch the kind of friends you choose. Sometimes you don’t see the bad in a person right away but when you do, RUN the other way. No friend is worth your life or your freedom, for earthly gain. A friend, who by association, is standing for Jesus and it costs freedom or life is TOTALLY worth standing with. They won’t be asking you to do anything against God’s Law. And He said to respect the laws of the land.
Father God, thank You for the friends You have given me throughout my life. THANK YOU that none of them tried to bring me into a life of crime! There have been little bumps along the way but nothing serious. THANK YOU for separating me from those who would try. I’ve got a big enough mouth that I would have spilled the beans anyway. Thank You for Your Spirit who guides my path and keeps me from a life of crime and even the temptation.