- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 28:10
"He who leads the upright astray in an evil way will himself fall into his own pit, but the blameless will inherit good."
This is a fascinating observation. It is what Solomon has observed in regards to the temptation to profit illegally and immorally. When a person attempts to swindle or deceive a person who is upright and lives within the boundaries of the Ten Commandments, the upright person will back away from the fraud when it involves stealing or cheating or lying or violence or cursing, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the infraction. The fact that someone is leading them outside of the moral boundaries of God is enough to cause them to stop. The upright have a higher allegiance to God than they do to any person or to any gain that they might add to themselves.
This is why Solomon can confidently say that the blameless will back away and find benefit instead of being led into the deceptive temptation.
The key here is that the upright are trying to be led into an evil way. This evil way is any action that moves outside of the moral boundaries of the Ten Commandments. Con men and swindlers always can tell if they are going to be successful in swindling a person by offering a person a too-good-to-be-true deal which only involves a little dishonesty or bending of morality. If the person is willing to go for the deal with a little bending of the rules, then the con man knows they will go for the bigger deception later.
Do not give into the short-term profits of temptation. They don't last and are harmful to your long-term joy. God sends good gifts and they reside within the boundaries of morality. God is not withholding good things from you by saying you shouldn't steal, lust, lie, murder, swear, etc. He is protecting you from the consequences that you can't see, but He can. These consequences are not just personal but infect the whole of the society as well.
Another crucial element of this proverb is that the swindlers will fall into their own trap. How many times have we seen this take place? Someone gets caught up in the deceit to the degree that they are captured by their own web of lies.
This is why it is absolutely crucial that people understand the moral perimeters of the Ten Commandments – these don't change and the consequences don't change either. Selfishness becomes societally destructive when it crosses those lines. Do not become a part of it no matter who is asking you to cross over and for whatever short period of time. Live within the boundaries of righteousness. It will be worth it to your soul.