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Proverbs 1:19

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Proverbs 1:19 "So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof."



This verse completed a ten-verse counseling session on the dangers of joining a greedy gang.  In the first half of this counseling session, Solomon focused on helping his young son identify the enticement of greedy souls.  In the second half, Solomon focused on helping his beloved son understand the danger of greedy souls.  He wanted his son to understand that their enticing pitch was not to be taken lightly; that their invitation to hurt the innocent was not some empty boasting line.
Solomon finished his counsel by shining a bright light on the root problem of these violent souls – greed.  Greedy people are violent people.  Greedy people are hurtful people.  Greedy people are destructive people.  Greedy people are insensitive people.  Greedy people are cold people.  Eventually, greedy people take away the life of the owners of coveted substance.  They do har…

Proverbs 1:18

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Proverbs 1:18 "And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives."


Solomon is almost done with his paternal preaching on problematic peer pressure in verse 18.  In previous verses, Solomon has encouraged his son to avoid sinners while exposing the earmarks of their enticements.  In verse 17, he provided an illustration for his son to remember when recognizing those earmarks – the common sense of a bird avoiding obvious danger.  Now that he is almost finished with his initial counsel on the topic, Solomon points his son to the end of the sinner.  In verse 15, he tells his son to stay off their path and here in verse 18, he tells his son what the end of that path looks like.  In verse 15, he tells his son to avoid their way and here in verse 18, he tells his son where that way leads.
Having lived long enough to see the end of the sinner, this wise father speaks truth for the sinner.  Having received wisdom from God about men, this wise teacher sheds s…

Proverbs 1:17

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Proverbs 1:17 "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird."


For the first time in his collection of proverbs, Solomon references the animal kingdom.  When God gifted Solomon with wisdom, He gave the king insight regarding God, man and creature.  Each of his three books of the Bible include healthy references to Nature. From the beginning, wise men like Job have used the creatures of Nature to illustration basic but important truths. Solomon, the wisest of all men, made it one of his hobbies to observe Nature in order to enhance his teaching and counsel.  He knew the animal kingdom of his country well and undoubtedly learned much of the world’s animal kingdom through his travels and through his imported personal zoo (1 Kings 10:22).  Nature held a special place in Solomon’s mind and in his writings.  1 Kings 4:33, “He spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowls,…

Proverbs 1:16

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Proverbs 1:16 "For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood."


Here in chapter one, Solomon spends as much as time as he does trying to persuade his son to choose his friends carefully because he knows how influential peers are, especially among young people.  If Rehoboam chooses the wrong crowd to call friends, they will become more influential in his life than his father will be.  They would have most of, if not all of his ear.  They would have most of, if not all of his heart.  The rest of Solomon’s book of wisdom would fall on his son’s deaf ear if the wrong friends were chosen.  The rest of Solomon’s wisdom would have little to no impact on Rehoboam if the wrong friends were chosen. Therefore, he spent substantial time on identifying and avoiding the wrong crowd early in this book of maxims.
In verse 15, the young man and all potential readers were urged not to walk with sinners.  They were urged to refrain their feet from the path of the wicked.  They were urg…

Proverbs 1:15

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Proverbs 1:15 "My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:"


This is the third time in eight verses; the third time in the first chapter of his book where Solomon addresses his son with affection in order to get his attention.  By saying, “my son,” this father is directing his son to their relationship; to the special bond a father and son possess.  By saying, “my son,” this father is communicating to his son parental responsibility as well as parental affection.  By starting these three verses with the phrase, “my son,” Solomon is telling Rehoboam that what he is about to read was not written flippantly or lightly; the counsel was written with paternal love and should be taken very seriously.  By using, “my son” at the beginning of these verses, this father is telling his son that this is more than a general proverb; this is precise counsel crafted in unconditional love for the good of the young man he is responsible for – the young man he lo…