Note: Next Wednesday, there will be no devotional. We will pick back up the week after that. Thank you and God bless.
As we looked, last week, we saw what the sinner is calling for us to do. The things were horrible. But here, in these two passages, we find the plea to not follow after them.
In Proverbs 1:15, Solomon says to not walk with them and keep the foot from their path. Walking and paths have a lot of themes throughout Scripture. Tracking them down would be a worthy study. To get started, there are two passages here that will be pointed out.
First is Psalm 1:1-3, those who, in Psalm 1:1, do not walk in the counsel of those who are evil, and delight in the law of the Lord. These are like a well watered and rooted tree.
Second, a path is often pictured as a trail, and this would be one of several good pictures. Picture a trail that is dark and covered over with roots and rocks. One would want a light to see, especially if it is dark.
This is where we read Psalm 119:105 that God’s Word is a lamp and light. To navigate the spiritual trail, we need the Spiritual light that will illuminate around us. This light will show where our feet stand, and what is coming up.
That is exactly what is needed, when we consider the call of Proverbs 1:15. Do not follow them. Sadly, many follow these sinners. Whether because of peer pressure or personality, these sinners amass a large following. The hardest thing to do is to NOT follow after them in anything they are doing. It is foolish and folly.
Yes, it is easier and simpler to hide among the crowd. But the question should not be, for the believer, what is simple and easy, but what is right? Is it right in the eyes of God? Is it right to go along with an idea simply to get along? The answer is NO!
It is this pressure to go along to get along that has destroyed and is destroying the testimony of the Church. Church, we must be very careful of who and what we go along with. Where our feet walk. Where we are led. Which brings us to another consideration.
Who or what is leading us? If we are being led by politics, whether Democrats or Republicans, or the push for unity despite doctrine from the World Council of Churches, or even society calling for their to be the throwing off of all things God and the Bible, we must be guarded. Such pious words are used to defend these positions but they are hollow at its very core.
There is one guide that we must always watch for as well, not mentioned above. That is the guide of self ideology and opinion. These two things can and will destroy us faster than anything above. Because these come from our own perceptions and mindsets. The statement, “I need to follow my heart” or “What feels right is what I do”, or “This makes me happy” each of these are death to the Spirit’s leading. Why do I say this? Jeremiah 17:9 points out that the heart, the decision maker, is corrupt because of sin.
To follow the heart or to do only that which makes us happy, is a dangerous way to measure whether we are following God or not. Instead, we should be guided by His Spirit. The Spirit calls for us to die to ourselves (Luke 9:23) not gratify ourselves. Our satisfaction can and should come from following God first and foremost. To seek for self gratification only is the false belief called Hedonism.
But then in Proverbs 1:16, we find why we are to not follow. It goes back to their feet running to that which is evil. The Hebrew word is that which is distress, misery, calamity or that which is ethically evil.
These “leaders” lead to nothing but that which will bring about the judgment and wrath of God. Run from them as fast and far as you can. They will do nothing to move us to God. Their heart and desire to cause pain and misery cannot be matched and in some cases, they are set in their heart by God. Just as God hardened Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 9:12), God often hardens the heart of those who decide to live for themselves, ignoring the existence of God (Romans 1:28).
Let us not rush to judge God foolishly. God solidifies these people AFTER they already did it to themselves. Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:15, 19, 32, etc.) and those in Romans 1:28 were solidified in their debased or reprobate mind after they did not and chose not to remember their Creator and the Master of all the universe.
These individuals run to evil and to shed blood. Those who look on often wonder why or what is going on in their mind. Why would someone shoot up a crowd, drive their vehicle into a parade, cause pain, and death to those who are innocent. The answer...they have been turned over to a mind that is not much more than an animal. No political policy, no community service, no cultural engagement can or will solve this issue. The issue is deeper. The issue is the heart. Sin is what is driving this and those who engage in this follow their true god, Satan.
But this is why the call to not follow. For not only those who are saved, but for those who are on the edge, the difference is obvious and clear. On one side is all the filth that can be imagined in the heart of the world, and the other obedience and faithfulness to God who then gives a firm foundation, hope, peace, and even joy in the midst of those who have none.
So, who do we follow? The call, do not follow after the evil wicked ones. They will lead to nothing more than death and misery.