My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. (Proverbs 1:10 ESV)
After laying the foundation for wisdom in verse 7 of chapter 1 (the fear of the Lord), the Book of Proverbs begins the application of wisdom by urgently warning its readers to avoid evil. The course is set: fear God, avoid sinners. Our constant battle with sin must begin with a holy reverence for God himself.
Satan, this world, and our own flesh will regularly attempt to steal our affectionate fear of the Lord. Because of this continual bombardment, Solomon warns his readers to not stray from the simple instruction of their parents, namely, not to consent with sinners. The task may seem simple if we were preserved in a bubble uninhibited by worldly lusts and pursuits. However, reality shows us this is not the case. On every side we find temptation. Consequently, Proverbs reveals that sinners try to “entice” us.
Sin certainly has a certain lure to it. Eve was no doubt mystified by the attractiveness of the forbidden fruit. David was drawn lustfully to a woman forbidden to him. And we are all enticed by the apparent beauty of sin, proudly displayed before our eyes by sinners, who are gleefully trying to bring us down their path of destruction. While they seek unjust gain, they fail to realize that it “takes away the life of its possessors” (Proverbs 1:19).
Thankfully, we’re given an option. The text plainly says, “do not consent.” Likewise, we’re told in the New Testament to “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). If we truly seek after godly wisdom, we will have what we need to follow the
example of Joseph, who did not consent to the enticement of Poitphar’s wife. Christ, God’s wisdom, did not consent to Satan, and fought him with the word of God. These and other accounts in the Bible give us hope that the command to “not consent” is “sinners entice you” is not an impossible command. God gives grace and wisdom for us to escape temptation.
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