How to Ambush Yourself (Proverbs 1:10-19)

“My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, ‘Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse’— my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.” – Proverbs 1:10-19

A greedy heart will take away your life.

In this next section of Proverbs, Solomon, writing as the father, is concerned about the allure of a greedy life. He knows this is one of the core issues his son will face: will he be content with what God gives him through his diligent labor, or will he compromise his integrity to gain wealth through crooked practices? Parents, are you warning your children against greed?

Greed is deceptive. The greedy person will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Many people will try to sell you on this idea: they will entice you to follow your selfish dreams. Yet, the person who ultimately suffers from greed is the greedy person. Greed is deceptive because it makes you think you can get what you want by taking from others without hurting yourself. But, God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7-8). It’s as foolish as setting an ambush to attack yourself: just when you think you are going to settle into the good life, your soul will be required of you (Luke 12:13-21).

How do you ambush yourself? It’s simple. Listen to others who tell you it’s okay to take what is not yours to enrich yourself and satisfy your desires. How do you ambush yourself? Let your heart fall in love with money and what it can get you in this life. You cannot serve two masters: you will love one and hate the other (Matthew 6:24). You set an ambush for yourself when you let your heart love and serve money.

Paul writes to Timothy, “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

Run away from these desires. Pursue the kingdom of God and his righteousness. There is a never-ending supply of grace and life in Christ. Long after the things of this world pass away, he will satisfy your heart with eternal life.

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