My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
- Proverbs 1:10
This passage is thought-provoking in that we see Solomon trying to give his son advice.
Any parent knows or should know, that their children observe and do, at least most of the time, what their parents do. If what the parent says doesn't match what they do, then the child will usually follow what they do, not what they say. in fact, there is a saying that what the parent does once, the child will develop into a habit. So it's good for parents to curb the negatives. In the case of Solomon, he was trying to inform his son, Rehoboam, about the dangers of being enticed by the wrong people. Typical parental advice, and not different to what many of us have said to our kids, and what our parents said us? His advice added an ingredient we may not fully appreciate — that of giving consent to the sin. This brief passage is indeed wisdom. At the time, Solomon was being seduced himself by sinners.
He married so many different women — 700 wives and 300 concubines — some who came with the spiritual baggage of false religions. It was a mine field, as Solomon found he had to cater for his wives' excesses.
Those seductions made Solomon sufficiently experienced to deliver that advice. However, at the same time, it excluded him from giving it due to his numerous seductions, which cost Israel so dearly in both taxes and spiritual deviations. Sometimes as parents, we hesitate to give advice, knowing our lives often don't add up to what we are saying. We can thank God that Solomon did not pause, due to his misdemeanours, to write down so much wisdom for his son and us. History shows that his son did not take to wisdom. He turned out to be a brutish Sovereign, dismissing the wise elders and taking the advice of younger people without experience, who did not understand or bear the burdens they were putting on others. Rehoboam, due to consenting to these youthful, sinning peers, caused the split of the nation of Israel.
This massive breakaway lasted until Israel was overrun and carried away many generations later. The ten northern tribes split from the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Can you imagine a Prime Minister who was that brutish that part of Australia would secede? Western Australia has been trying to divorce itself from the Eastern states since before federation.
When we act like Rehoboam — not heeding wisdom — we can disintegrate our families and relationships in the same way. In fact, we may become so proud of our stance that we do not care if that happens, preferring rather to stick to our distorted principles than heal the brokenness. Just because Rehoboam did not take advice does not mean it needs to fall on deaf ears with us. This scripture is as timely today as it was in Solomon and Rehoboam's days. In our world, many people are out to get the advantage of sin. We may be asked to participate. The answer is NO! What is sin in this sense? It could be as little as stealing a pen and sticky notes from work. Then again, as in the case of my former CEO at Signcraft, who joined the Chief Accountant to take millions of dollars from the owner's business over time, it could be a goldmine. These two basic robbers were diverting so many funds to their various vineyards and accounts, it necessitated the closing down of the manufacturing branch in South Australia and dismissing 40 employees. Solomon said we give consent to enticement. James 1:14 echo's that wisdom, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." We give consent when we think about the benefits of the sin in which we are asked to participate. Instead of shutting our mind-door on it, we contemplate the reward versus getting caught. Each thought brings us closer to the sin, until we get drawn away as we mistakenly decide the benefits outweigh the punishment.
We see the result of this decision as we read James 1:15, "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The CEO and Chief Accountant will be looking at prison sentences, and it will be the death of their careers and possibly their marriages.
Today, for us, though, much of the attraction to sin and the giving of consent comes from the internet. For instance, in 2018, the largest porn site in the world had 33.5,000, 000, 000 visitors (yes 33.5 billion). That’s a lot of sin and consenting. Solomon's wisdom has so much meaning today!!!
Today’s Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for this wisdom. I have been enticed many times to do the wrong thing. Please help me say NO to anything that might upset our relationship.