Proverbs 1:10 "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not."
Over the course of its thirty-one chapters, the Book of Proverbs will offer wisdom to men and women of all ages. This book is a wealth of wisdom for all of mankind in all the world. That truth being said, the first ten verses should reveal why the book comes so highly recommended for the young man and young woman. Already in ten short verses, we read of the author’s intent to give those virtues that young people desperately need to avoid life-long dilemmas. In but ten short verses, Solomon points the young to the old; the inexperienced to the experienced; the simple to the wise; the child to the parent. Solomon’s first piece of advice has to do with who to listen to. His next piece of advice to the young is who not to listen to.
Success for every young person starts with hearing the right people while failure for every young person starts with heeding the wrong people. The first time Solomon addresses his son is in verse eight where he instructs his son to hear his parents’ advice. The second time Solomon addresses his son is in verse ten where he instructs his son to shun the sinner’s entice. Proverbs 1 essentially deals with the two most important topics of a young person’s life: PARENTAL PRINCIPLES and PEER PRESSURE.
Verse 9 says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”
Verse 10 says, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”
Every person, young or old, needs to realize that their success or failure depends on the type of people they listen to. No one succeeds without the assistance of people and no one fails without the assistance of people. Look at the lives of the successful and they will have a long list of people to thank for their ascent. Look at the lives of the failed and they too will have a list of people to share their failure with. The wise are looking for candidates to make wise and sinners are looking for candidates to corrupt. There are always two sides of influence, especially for young people. Parents and other wise elders will passionately seek to provide the instruction necessary for the success of their young loved ones. But sinners and other foolish peers with equal passion will offer incentive to the young to participate in their evil deeds.
Our world is a world of people. Our society is a social society. People are unavoidable in this world. Opposing views are unavoidable. Opposing counsel is unavoidable. Opposing opportunities are unavoidable. Which view is embraced will determine the direction a person travels. Which counsel is followed will determine the future of a person. Which opportunity is taken will determine the outcome of a person. Success or failure is not determined by how social a person is; it is determined by who a person chooses to listen to. People and their voices are unavoidable. An unsocial person needs only two conflicting voices in their life to make the wrong decision. A highly unsocial person needs only an internet connection, a television connection or a radio connection to have thousands of conflicting voices in their life from which to be enticed.
Parents would be wise to teach their children what Solomon taught his son – that there will be opposing voices and opposing opportunities in life. We should expect opposing views with passionate invitations from both sides. More importantly, we should also be able to discern which view is safe and which view is dangerous. We should be able to discern which invitation is healthy and which invitation is harmful. The key to discerning the difference is found in the approach of the voice. Solomon defined the voice of the parent as INSTRUCTION while in contrast, he defined the voice of the sinner as ENTICEMENT.
Enticement by definition is the attempt to incite the passions.
Instruction, on the other hand, is the attempt to inform the mind.
The contrast between the two actions is so stark that the listener should be able to reasonably identify the motive of the speaker. If someone is trying to get you to do something wild, something risky, then he or she is trying to entice you. If the person is simply trying to inform and equip you, then he or she is trying to instruct you. As a general rule, the person who is trying to give you knowledge from which action can be chosen carefully is a sound voice that deserves your ear. The person who is trying to move you to hasty action without the opportunity to be first instructed is a dangerous voice that should not be considered.
If you think about it, the Book of Proverbs is a book almost entirely about human relationships. It deals so heavily with human interaction because people are unavoidable. And just as Solomon wanted to equip his son with this reality and prepare him to be able to discern who is healthy and who is harmful, God wants to equip His children with the same truths. There are people we should listen to and there are people we should not listen to. In order to effectively discern the difference, let us ask the following questions about the voices we hear in this world: Are they trying to Instruct us or are they trying to Entice us? Are they trying to help us make sound decisions or are they trying to make that decision for us? The answer to those questions could be the difference between Sound Parent and Sinful Peer.