Proverbs 1:11

Proverbs 1:10-11 "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:"

Starting in verse 10, Solomon spends some quality time on peer pressure, a topic especially important for young readers like his son.  While he encouraged his son to listen very carefully to his parents, he discouraged his son from listening to mischievous peers.  To help identify which peers he shouldn’t give in to, Solomon took time to describe the type of person he was warning of.  The first detail provided was their self-proclaimed intention to privately lay wait for blood.  But their intention by itself wasn’t the problem; the problem is who they were waiting to harm and WHY.  They intended to wait to harm the “innocent WITHOUT CAUSE.”

The intention to contend with another person in itself isn’t an indication of evil but the intention to contend with an innocent person without a justified reason is an indication of evil.  When Solomon described the group of sinners his son needed to resist, he described them being open about their intentions to hurt people for no good reason.  They boasted of their intention to harm innocent people, perhaps strangers who gave these misfits no legitimate reason to harm them.  May the reader take note and may the young reader especially take note: flee the man or woman who unashamedly announces their intention to harm innocent people for the sheer fun of it

There is a place for justified contention.  There is a place for justified strife.  Justified contention and/or strife is justified because it has a legitimate reason.  Proverbs 3:30, “Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.”  If someone is threatening you or your family, you have every Biblical right to defend yourself.  If a thief has entered your home, you have every Biblical right to defend yourself.  If a violent person attacks your loved ones, you have every Biblical right to fight; to contend with that person.  If someone is doing harm to you or to your loved ones, you have a CAUSE to strive. 

The same is true for legal matters.  There is a place for legal contention.  There is a place for legal strife.  If you witness a person do something wrong to you or to someone else, then your legal contention is justified.  Proverbs 24:28, “Be not a witness against thy neighbor without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.”  There will be times in life where strife is unfortunately necessary; where conflict is sadly unavoidable.  In these times, there is a genuine reason for it.  The son of Jesse was ready to fight in 1 Samuel 17 because a Philistine stood defying the armies of the living God.  David was ready to strive with a man because this giant threatened the family and people of David.  When scolded by his older brother for showing such a willingness to fight, David responded with the famous line, “Is there not a cause!?!”     

Solomon wasn’t telling his son to avoid and resist those willing to fight.  He wasn’t telling his son to avoid and resist those willing to stand up for people or for causes.  He was telling him to avoid and resist those who wanted to do harm to people for the sheer fun of it.  These are the people that Solomon’s father described as his enemies in the twenty-fifth psalm; the people that “transgress without cause.”  This is the crowd that we cannot befriend.  This is the crowd that we cannot entertain.  This is the crowd that we cannot become casual with.  This is an evil crowd that must be avoided and resisted.  This is the crowd that eggs cars for the fun of it.  This is the crowd that drives down the road and shoots paint balls at cars for the fun of it.  This is the crowd that slashes vehicle tires on a side street for no good reason.  This is the crowd that mocks the elderly and takes cane & wheelchair for absolutely no reason.  This is the crowd that participates in the KNOCKOUT GAME, a game going on all over the world where someone attempts to “knock out” an unsuspecting victim with a single sucker punch.  These assaults are recorded with phones and uploaded online for everyone to see.  The Knockout Game is the perfect example of Proverbs 1:11 where sinful souls wait quietly to spill innocent blood without cause.  Sadly, there have been many injuries and even deaths as a result of this cruel crime. 

Let us listen carefully to what others say their reason is for their intentions and actions.  Let us carefully ask others what they say their reason is for their intentions and actions.  Let us choose our friends carefully based on the reasons behind their activity. 

Let us also evaluate our emotions and actions on the same basis.  If we are inclined to contend with someone, let us vet the cause behind the potential contention.  Let us sincerely & humbly evaluate whether or not there is true cause for any possible contention.  More times than not, there is no genuine cause for strife.  The same is true for emotions and feelings.  Jesus taught in Matthew 5:22, “That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”  

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