Saturday, June 4, 2011

June 1st – Proverbs 1: "The View"

“My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” – Proverbs 1:10

I remember a sermon I heard in the mid-nineties like I heard it yesterday. It was a sermon by Roberts Liardon and it was called, “The View”. It dealt with the subject of this passage, being enticed or jealous of sinners and what they possess. It would be easy to be enticed by sinners if you didn’t consider the end of their lifestyles or the outcome of their way of life. He used Psalm 73 as a text. It reads:

“A psalm of Asaph. Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” – Psalm 73:1-3

The Psalmist considers the apparent prosperity of the wicked and is tempted to envy them. He notes:

“They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.” – Psalm 73:4-5

He goes on and on noting the condition of sinners and begins to wonder if walking in righteousness was really a good idea at all!

“Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.” – Psalm 73:13-14

But then, the Psalmist gets a perspective that we as believers MUST have. It’s a long term, eternal perspective that considers the end of the matter and not just the beginning:

“When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” – Psalm 73:16-17

He considers the end of their way of life and it’s not pretty:

“Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!” – Psalm 73:18-19

For several verses we see the final end of sinners. The psalm ends with these sobering words:

“Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” – Psalm 73:27-28

If a wicked lifestyle seems enticing just consider the END RESULT.

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