Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 4:14
"Do not enter the path of the wicked and do not proceed in the way of evil men"
There are at least ten entrances to the path of the wicked. Each one of the Ten Commandments marks a doorway to wickedness. In each one of these cases, God is saying: “Don't even start down that road.”
This seems like such an obvious lesson, but it needs to be repeated and emphasized over and over again. Just to begin down the pathway of wickedness is a problem. It doesn't seem so bad when it starts: so I curse a little – it actually feels good; so I had sex before I got married – it actually was liberating; so I stole something from the store – nobody will notice; so I lied to my teacher – he wanted to know too much anyway; so I got mad and hit someone – it was the only way to get through to this person; so I spent a lot of time thinking about being with my friend's spouse – it doesn't hurt anyone.
The beginning of the path of wickedness is where selfishness becomes significantly destructive to others, God's glory, and even yourself. Realize that God gave us the Ten Commandments so that we would not destroy ourselves with our own selfishness. Each of the commandments is a societal stop for selfishness. These are the beginning of wickedness.
This proverb is trying to warn young people that there are people out there who have dedicated themselves to getting what they want and pursue their own selfishness with such reckless abandon that they will use, damage, and even destroy you if you get in their way. These evil people have a way about them – a pathway to their evil. Don't learn the art of getting what you want without rules. There are rules to the game of life. Solomon is trying to warn young people that it is radically tempting to just go after what you want and through any means, but it will not pay off in the end. It will surround you with sorrow, coldness, loneliness, and broken relationships even while you hold what you went after in the first place. So Solomon screams to us, “Don't even get started on that path!”
It is one thing to be selfish inside the boundaries of the Ten Commandments, but it another thing entirely to unleash your selfishness to go beyond the boundaries of the Commandments in the pursuit of whatever you want.
You will not find what you really want and need out there. If right this week, as you are reading this, you are facing temptation to go after something or someone you want but you have to go outside of God's boundaries of right and wrong, just stop and repeat this verse: Do not enter the path of wicked and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Repeat it five times.
You may be reading this today because today or later this week you will be presented with an opportunity to get something you always wanted; you just have to compromise and sin in one little small area. Stop and repeat this verse. Don't give in and grasp your dreams through the means of wickedness. They will turn into nightmares.