sin drains one’s life blood | Solomon’s wisdom

sin drains one’s life blood | Solomon’s wisdom January 7, 2022

At best, Solomon is referring to shedding the blood of animals in idolatry. At worst, he is referring to the murder of humans made in the imago Dei. Either way, the habitual sinner digresses to a point in his mindset where he no longer values life blood.

Wisdom does not simply offer golden nuggets of truth for us to consider. These days, we may not find wisdom posting happy thoughts on an online social network for people to read as they sip coffee on their ten minute break.

Can wisdom inspire us with great thoughts? I’ve noticed she often does. Never far from great thoughts, wisdom also takes time to address the difficult issues, the baffling conundrums, and the webs in which we sometimes find ourselves entangled.

I have edged away from a 14 part series on Ecclesiastes in the last part of 2021. Categorized by Patheos Evangelical and readily available at Archives | Select a Category | The Writings or CLICK HERE

Add a quick read at this point of the Scripture I’m covering in this article Proverbs 1.10-19 CLICK HERE

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i. the mindset of the habitual sinner

Defining what wisdom is, Solomon clarifies by stating what it is not. In the mindset of the habitual sinner, this wisdom is not found. Solomon warns his “son,” or his disciples, about people he calls “sinners” (Proverbs 1.10). But in Hebrew this term, “designates a habitual sinner who is subject to punishment because of his or her practices.”[1]

Ego, habit, or mindset, this type of sinner has sinned enough to be beyond remorse. These sinners no longer attempt to hide their sin. Habitual sinners no longer even attempt to defend their sins. A basic digression leads from flagrant sin to attempts to draw others in, or to “entice” them.

Our teacher warns “consent thou not.” As much as there seems to be a connection with the sinner, do not give into their sinful request. We often make friends with those in the world, and then try to maintain those friendships. If we are not cautious, we eventually feel bound to participate in their sin.

Arguments, enticing words, clever ploys draw others into sin (Prov 1.11-15).

No one stops them now, as they quickly chase after evil with everything they have, and with no remorse (Prov 1.16). Immediacy is the modus operandi as they “run to evil” and “make haste to shed blood.” This implies a “rush,” a “buzz,” or a “high” they receive from their outlandish rebellion.

Referencing his own people in actuality, it’s as if Solomon is saying we should know better. Dreaming up ethereal ideals of a wisdom which fails to address the difficult realities of life is far from the Wisdom Literature or The Writings of the Hebrew Bible.

ii. sinners go so far as to “shed blood”

For those raised in Israel and in our Churches, there is an extra “rush” because we are not just sinning. We know we are sinning, and that adds to the fiendish excitement.

Life blood is connected with the vitality of life. Shedding blood generally refers to religious sacrifices made, or to shedding human blood. However, the Israelites are not known to have slain humans in religious sacrifice, even in their seasons of idolatry.

At best, Solomon is referring to shedding the blood of animals in idolatry. At worst, he is referring to the murder of humans made in the imago Dei. Either way, the habitual sinner digresses to a point in his mindset where he no longer values life blood.

Take a moment to consider Solomon’s warning to keep away from those who rationalize the shedding of human blood. In our day, there are many arguments for shedding the blood of the unborn, of those who are older and no longer able to care for themselves, etc.

God created humans in His image. We are more precious than animals. So the covenant of Noah institutes capital punishment and later Moses upholds it. Man’s life is linked to the image of God. Our lives reflect His. Our blood is sacred. Death is in His hands alone.

iii. the pitfall of the habitual sinner

“Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” Proverbs 1.17

Solomon refers to what we call a pitfall. “Pitfall: 1) trap; snare; specifically : a pit flimsily covered or camouflaged and used to capture and hold animals or men. 2) a hidden or not easily recognized danger or difficulty.”[2] In Solomon’s time, a pitfall is set with a net.

“Net is an instrument used to catch game, as birds (Prov 1:17), it was made out of cords woven together. Sometimes a net was spread over a pit; the animal became entrapped in the net as he fell into the hole . . . This word is employed metaphorically to describe people being trapped by their enemies.”[3]

It is interesting that the habitual sinner eventually becomes careless. The careless sinner’s strategy becomes useless, it’s “in vain.” He lays out the net where every bird can see it. Everyone can see what the habitual sinner is up to, so his plan for entrapping others in his sin simply fails.

The sinner’s elaborate plan not only fails, but backfires (Prov 1.18). The pitfall he sets ensnares him. The blood he hopes to shed costs him his own. Solomon shows that this is the sinner’s way of life, his lifestyle or life pattern (Prov 1.19).

The sinner is greedy for more gain. He may hope for financial freedom. Yet he is ensnared by the sorrows of wealth and a lust for more.

Sin drains one’s life blood. Willing and eager to murder others to get what he wants, the sinner ends up losing his own life.


notes

pic credit: FaithGiant | bible coffee | 08.04.21 | pixabay

primary translation referenced: King James Version

[1] R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke, eds., Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. 1, Moody Press, p. 278.
[2] Mirriam-Webster, “Pitfall,” Mirriam-Webster.com, 2013, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pitfall
[3] Harris et al., 411.


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