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Proverbs (Part 009) - Pro 1:16-18

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1. Pro 1:16 - "For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood."
A. As was noted in the comments on Pro 1:11, these wicked men are reprobates (Pro 1:16 c/w Rom 3:15).
i. Since the wicked have no understanding (Rom 3:11), it is vain to try to reason them out of their evil plans.
ii. This is why Solomon admonished his son to "walk not thou in the way with them" and "refrain thy foot from their path" in the previous verse (Pro 1:15).
iii. We should never attempt to walk with the wicked in hopes of convincing them to change (Psa 1:1; Pro 22:24-25).
iv. Those that would conspire to kill and plunder the innocent demonstrate that they have a heart of stone which is unable to be changed apart from the sovereign operation of God.
v. He that would try will not be blessed of God, will get a snare to his soul, and will be destroyed (Pro 13:20).
B. Their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
i. O that all saints were as motivated to do righteousness as sinners are to do wickedness!
ii. The Christian life is often referred to as a walk, but too often it would scarcely pass for a crawl.
iii. The children of God are too often caught sleeping instead of watching (Mar 14:37).
iv. Conversely, the children of this world "sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall" (Pro 4:16).
v. The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light (Luk 16:8).
vi. These sinners are diligent and deep thinkers, whose studiousness would put many Christians to shame (Pro 24:2; Psa 64:5-6).
vii. Just as the sluggard should go to the ant and consider her ways, and be wise (Pro 6:6), so should the Christian take note of the ways of sinners and imitate their diligence, but not their devices (Heb 12:1; 1Co 9:26; Psa 119:60).

2. Pro 1:17 - "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird."
A. It would be an exercise in futility to spread a net in the presence of one's prey.
i. This is why these sinners lay wait and lurk privily so as not to be seen (Pro 1:11).
ii. Privily adj. - 1. In a privy manner; not openly or publicly; secretly, privately; stealthily; craftily.
iii. They think that their net will not be perceived by their victims, nor even by God himself, seeing that "there is no fear of God before their eyes" (Rom 3:18).
B. The psalmist described such sinners in the tenth psalm (Psa 10:8-12).
C. These murderers surmise that they have their tracks covered, operating under a cloak of secrecy in their plans to ensnare the guiltless.
D. But they fail to realize that there is a "bird" who watched them spread their net, and He will deliver them (Psa 91:3-4).
i. The Lord will judge these vile men with one of His signature judgments: catching the wicked in their own net (Psa 9:15-16).
ii. The diabolical plans of evil men may go unnoticed by the sheep, but the Good Shepherd always has His watchful eye on His flock (2Ch 16:9).
iii. Since "the eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Pro 15:3), any net set for the righteous is indeed spread in vain.
iv. Vain - II. 5. In the advb. phrase in vain, to no effect or purpose; ineffectually, uselessly, vainly.

3. Pro 1:18 - "And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives."
A. The intent of these conspirators was to lay wait and lurk privily for the lives of the innocent (Pro 1:11).
B. But because there is a God in heaven who pleads the cause of the oppressed (Pro 22:22-23; Pro 23:10-11), the lives that these monsters will end up destroying will be their own.
C. For this reason, we should not despair when we see evil men in high places oppressing the helpless.
D. Remember, the LORD, the righteous judge, beholds it and will not suffer it to continue forever, but will render to the wicked their due (Ecc 5:8; Psa 37:35-40).
E. Solomon could warn his son with confidence that the net that these men spread for the innocent would be "for their own lives," based on his father David's experience (Psa 35:7-8; Psa 57:6).
F. As was noted in the comments on the previous verse, punishing men using the instruments which they planned to harm others with is one of God's signature judgments (Psa 7:15-16).
G. Numerous times throughout history God has rendered recompense to the enemies of righteousness.
i. God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech and of the men of Shechem upon their own heads (Jdg 9:56-57).
ii. God had Haman hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai (Est 7:10).
iii. God had the men that accused Daniel cast into the den of lions that they had planned to use to execute him (Dan 6:24).
iv. God takes the wise in their own craftiness (Job 5:13).
H. Solomon enshrined these observations in his timeless proverbs, not only for his son, but for all of God's children throughout all ages (Pro 11:5-6; Pro 26:27; Ecc 10:8).