Proverbs 1:17 – Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
Hey all, new blog today, and a short one… a thought from Proverbs. This verse didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the start, but the more I think about it the more I realize it makes a lot of sense, and is placed perfectly in this passage, and at the start of Proverbs, for a reason. Proverbs is where you can get a lot of practical wisdom for your life. Throughout Proverbs, the Bible says “my son”… because it is the wisdom of the Father to his son. You are a son of God if you are saved, a son of God through Jesus Christ. Abba, Father. The Bible says later on in Proverbs 1 that… Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Wisdom is crying out today to you, God is pleading with you to hear truth, but most people have a heart that has no place for wisdom… no place for Jesus Christ.
We would do well to read Proverbs and not just let the words wash over our mind and then be forgotten soon after, but to take action based on what we read. And in Proverbs 1, the Bible warns us not to run with sinners in our life. In Psalm 1, we read that blessed is the man that walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Proverbs 1:10 – My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If you want to follow God you are going to have to be able to say no to things, to recognize things, and to stand when noone else is there, when there is noone to hide behind. Daniel and his three friends were alone in a strange land, a wicked land… yet they stood… they had no mummy or daddy to make sure they did right, life was before them, they could’ve done as they willed, and the Bible says Daniel PURPOSED in his heart that he would not defile himself. They stood while everyone else fell. So many people, Christians, hide in the herd of others, but when out on their own, they drift away into sin. Do you do what you do because of others, because of godly parents, because you’re a church goer? Do you long to go your wicked way, but you just can’t right yet? Be ready to get presented with great opportunity to sin, because God is going to sort you from the sheep.
The Bible warns you not to go with sinners, not to be enticed by them, not to cast in your lot with them… not because you’re better than them, but because you are not going the way they’re going, because they will corrupt your walk with God, because they will fall, and if you are with them, you will too. Company is vitally important, and you need to watch who you hang out with, what you do with who, and where. Things may seem harmless, but the Bible has high warning, and many examples of where bad company and bad influences cost people highly and ultimately. In Genesis, a young woman called Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land, she got involved with other young women of the land… and it ended in her being defiled, and her life being completely shattered. Read about Amnon, David’s son, who had a friend called Jonadab… Amnon liked his sister Tamar, and Jonadab his “friend” put seeds in his mind on taking action on his affection for her. Samson had a bunch of Philistine friends who broke his marriage up, who cheated him, and one of them ended up taking his wife. Oh yeah, and those cases are different, you would never fall like these guys did, your situations are different, and you have things under control. It’s not about being elite, or being religious, or about lacking the leading of the Holy Spirit, it’s about following Jesus Christ in a dark, wicked, anti-Christ world. It’s famous last words to say you’ve got it under control, that’s it ok, that it’s not that bad … because as Proverbs will say in verse 17 of chapter 1…
… Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. This will most likely be true of you if you reject God’s word. There is a net waiting to catch you. You can even see it, it’s revealed in God’s word, but you will get caught in it anyway. You can spread a net for a bird, and the bird will get caught in it, despite seeing the net spread. Birds aren’t that smart. And neither are humans. Surely in vain… the Bible warns us of the end of a life of sin, it warns us of the folly of rejecting Jesus Christ, of neglecting salvation, the Bible warns us of coming judgement, the Bible warns us of hell. Practically the Bible warns you of the danger and consequences of sins such as fornication, adultery, drinking and every life action and issue that is wrong, and that can lead to wrong… and yet surely in vain the Bible warns you. Even intellectually knowing, yet you will still do evil, yet you will still keep bad company. You will still hold on to things that are wrong because of your lust and pride, or whatever reason it is. Pride. Pride is this intangible thing in us which resists God, which arcs up to God’s authority, to love, to humility, to patience, to holiness. The Bible says that evil communications corrupt good manners… if you are around a person who is enticing you to sin, who wants you to disobey God, even SUBTLY… they will corrupt your manners… your actions will be corrupted, and thus your manner of person will be.
And the thing you will miss is, people are unlikely to directly make you disobey God. Right back to the first sin… Satan was more subtil than any beast of the field. Jonadab was a “subtil” friend of Amnon. It’s the subtlety that will get you. Because wrong won’t seem that wrong, sin won’t seem that sin, the reasons will be innocent enough, and you will reason your way into the net. You will justify your way into the net. Because you will be enticed in, when someone is enticed, they are lured. Satan has some good lures, and his tactics are very smart. In fact, that’s why the Bible was written, so you could smarten up, and we NEED to smarten up… because he’s going to sift your life like wheat unless you get strong in the word of God, and not just knowing it, but living it. That’s the difference between knowledge, understanding and wisdom. It’s one thing to know something, it’s one thing to understand it, but it’s another entirely to apply it to your life. The Bible is relevant to your life from start to finish. God’s word will give you smarts, the ability to foresee evil and hide yourself, to walk circumspectly, the redeem the time in these evil days, the ability to know right from wrong, the ability to make good wise, and ultimately eternally sound decisions. No other book in the world is like the Bible, it stands alone, because it is God’s word, and it is truth. And we all need truth, a rock solid foundation for our life.
Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bread. Don’t be a bird that saw the net, yet still got tangled in it. It will be in vain that the Bible warned you, God’s grace will be in vain to you. There is a net that comes with sin, something like adultery might tickle your fancy, the lure of it to your sinful flesh, but it’s a big old net that will snare your life and follow you to the grave. Look at David, he knew what he was doing was wrong with Bathsheba, but did it any way. That net was spread in vain in his sight, the danger was there, yet he did it anyway. The ultimate case though is knowing of hell, yet going there anyway. Hell has been spread before the unbeliever, God doesn’t want you to go there, but you’ll find your way there. Because it’s “your place”, just as it was for Judas Iscariot, who went to “his place”. Don’t make hell “your place”, don’t get caught in the net… just as the Bible says in Proverbs 1:31… Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. We practically need grace from God not to fall into the net, and we need the mercy and longsuffering and deliverance of God… it takes grace to live for God, to do right, to even want to do right… we all need more grace. And… James 4:6 – But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. God has foretold the nets that you need to not be taken in, but hopefully it won’t be in vain that God foretold you and you are taken in them anyway. You’re not a bird, you’re a human being, you have a spirit… God requires more of you. Birds flap around helplessly, getting more and more tangled in the net they watched be spread out… they saw it yet got caught anyway, in vain did they see it. Hopefully for us similarly, seeing some things that God clearly shows us isn’t in vain.