Posts Tagged ‘false friends’


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:10-19

      10 My son, if sinful men entice you,

            do not give in to them.

      11 If they say, “Come along with us;

            let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,

            let’s ambush some harmless soul;

      12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,

            and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

      13 we will get all sorts of valuable things

            and fill our houses with plunder;

      14 cast lots with us;

            we will all share the loot”—

      15 my son, do not go along with them,

            do not set foot on their paths;

      16 for their feet rush into evil,

            they are swift to shed blood.

      17 How useless to spread a net

            where every bird can see it!

      18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;

            they ambush only themselves!

      19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;

            it takes away the life of those who get it. 

Sin is enticing because it offers a quick route to prosperity or pleasure and makes us feel like we belong. But when we go along with others and refuse to listen to the truth, our own appetites become our masters, and we’ll do anything to satisfy them. Sin, even when attractive, is deadly. We must learn to make choices, not on the basis of flashy appeal or short-range pleasure, but in view of the long-range effects. Sometimes this means steering clear of people who want to draw us into activities that we know are wrong. We can’t be friendly with sin and expect our lives to remain unaffected.

Going after “ill-gotten gain” is one of Satan’s surest traps. It begins when he plants the suggestion that we can’t live without some possession or more money. Then that desire fans its own fire until it becomes an all-consuming obsession. Ask God for wisdom to recognize any greedy desire before it destroys you. God through his Spirit will give you wisdom and help you overcome it.

Proverbs 1:10 “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.”

You see, we are a free moral agent. We decide whether we will sin or not. Just because the crowd is sinning, is no reason to get involved. Use your own free will and say “no” to sin, even if it is inviting. In the long run, we are responsible for our own decisions.

Sinners is a term reserved in Scripture to describe unbelievers for whom sin is continual and who endeavor to persuade even believers to sin with them. The sins of murder and robbery are used as illustrations of such folly.

Proverbs 1:11 “If they say, “Come along with us; lets lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul:”

“Come with us”. The intimidating force of peer pressure is often the way to entice those who lack wisdom.

Proverbs 1:12 “Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:”

The wicked devise a plot of deception in which the innocent are captured and victimized like one who is taken by death itself, as with Joseph (Gen. 37:20); Jeremiah (Jer. 38:6-13); and Daniel (Dan. 6:16-17.

“The Pit … Shoel” is the place of death. For the wicked it is a place of no return (Job 7:9), darkness (Psalms 143:3) and torment (Isaiah 14:11). 

Proverbs 1:13-14 “we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our house with plunder:” (14)”Throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse.”

This is the enlisting of the innocent without full disclosure of intent. Abundant spoil is promised by this outright robbery, which is made to appear easy and safe for the thieves and murderers.

Proverbs 1:15 “My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths thy foot from their path:”

This directly confronts the invitation of v.11. Sin must be rejected at the first temptation, by refusing even the association that can lead to sin. Avoid the beginnings of sin (see Proverbs 4:14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men)

Proverbs 1:16 “for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.”

This is warning not to keep evil company. There is guilt by association. You may not be guilty of their sins; but if you are caught with them, you will pay the terrible penalty with them. Many a youngster has gotten into serious trouble because he wanted to be part of the gang. Children’s favorite saying to parents is, “everyone is doing it”.  Sometimes peer pressure causes a youngster to join a gang. He probably has no idea they are stealing or killing when he joins; but the longer he stays, the more deeply involved he becomes. The only way to avoid this is just what the Scripture advises. Don’t go with them in the first place. The time to say “no” is before you get in deep.

Proverbs 1:17 “How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!”

As a bird flies into a net and is caught, so will the sinner get caught if he goes head long into sin. We know the net is there, but get into it anyway.

It would be ineffective to set up a net for catching a bird in full view of the bird. Taken with v.18, this analogy means that the sinner sets up his trap for the innocent in secret, but in the end the trap is sprung on him (v.19). This greed entraps him. Stupid sinners rush to their own ruin.

Proverbs 1:18 “These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!.”

A person laying in wait to kill someone else is actually sealing their own doom. 

Proverbs 1:19 “Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.”

Greed for things that do not belong to you is certainly the cause of most sin toward your fellow man.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 28:23 He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.

True friendship and esteem depend on your contribution to others’ lives. Those who flatter others may have some superficial friends or foolish companions, who enjoy the empty praise. But those who correct and teach others the way of God more perfectly will have devoted and thankful friends for the profit they obtain for their souls and lives.

What does it mean to rebuke? It means to reprove or reprimand another person for some action or trait that is not acceptable. It is telling another person they are wrong and they need to change. It means to point out their errors and express strong dislike of them.

What does it mean to flatter? It means to praise or compliment unduly or insincerely. It is telling another person positive things merely to make them happy and desirous of your friendship. It means to play on a person’s vanity and cheer them without a good basis.

The proverb does not compare two good things and suggest one is better than the other. Rebuke is a very good and holy thing, for it stops sin in others’ lives and directs them to righteousness. Flattery is an evil thing, for it comforts and encourages men to continue in a course of sin merely for a superficial relationship (Pr 20:19; 29:5; Job 17:5; Ps 12:2-3).

True love will rebuke sin in friends. In fact, loving your neighbor requires you to rebuke them for sin. If you do not rebuke them, you hate them (Lev 19:17). If you love someone, you want to help perfect him by pointing out the things that are wrong in his life (Pr 27:5-6; Rom 15:14; I Thes 5:14). You will risk the relationship in order to hopefully help him.

The rebuke under consideration here is the reproof or reprimand of sin, as measured by the word of God. This proverb has nothing to do with matters of liberty, because neither God nor good men care what you think in matters of liberty. No man has any right to judge in matters that God has not judged in the Bible. Personal opinion is just that!

Consider the value of rebuke. There can be no progress without change, and there can be no change without correction, and correction means rebuke for doing something the wrong way. Disciplinarian fathers will be loved more in the long run than pampering fathers; and athletes generally appreciate severe coaches for getting the most out of them.

Flattery, no matter how cheery, positive, or vain, does no one any good. It merely wastes the earth’s oxygen and creates noise pollution. You leave such a person worse for the experience, no matter how pleasant the flattery sounded at the moment. Eventually a righteous person will avoid flatterers, for they truly prefer rebuke (Pr 27:9; Ps 141:5).

Great men and women are trees of life – they nourish others with wisdom (Pr 10:21; 11:30). But most people are quite worthless, because they never contribute to the profit or perfection of others. They are too fearful to help. They are too ignorant to help. They are too selfish to help. Instead of being trees of life, they are merely rotting fence posts!

The value and vitality of a church depends on the practice of this proverb. There are two great benefits. If church members fulfilled their roles of rebuking one another for sin, a church would grow in grace and holiness (Rom 15:14; Eph 4:16; I Thess 5:14; Heb 3:12-13; 10:24-25). And, look again at the proverb. The church would grow in love and true esteem for one another by the benefit gained from the wise and godly rebukes. Glory!

Most churches are little more than superficial social clubs. After a short session of a form of godliness, which they call a worship service, they engage in idle chitchat and inane bantering. Then they go home backbiting and slandering one another. God forbid! They ought to be soberly confessing their faults to one another, exhorting one another to greater godliness, and rebuking any known sins (Gal 6:1; Eph 4:29; Jas 5:16,19-20).

Why do most Christians never correct or rebuke anyone in matters of godliness? Because they reject the truth of this wisdom! They assume the way to obtaining and maintaining friends is flattery, comfortable chitchat, and foolish talking. They fear losing friends and their favour – the very opposite of God’s wisdom – so they never reprove others for sin.

What is the reward for rebuking others? God is pleased you have fulfilled your role and kept His instruction, and the man you rebuked will love you for it (Pr 9:7-9). However, he may not love you at the moment of your rebuke! And for this you must be prepared. Remember the proverb. It says he will love you “afterwards.” Children will obey strict training when they are old, though maybe not that week (Pr 22:15; Heb 12:11)!

The Lord Jesus Christ, the preeminent example, was always correcting, rebuking, and instructing those He met in life, whether disciples or enemies. And Paul did the same thing, spending his life to correct and reprove the sin he found in lives. Righteous men and women loved them both, for they appreciated the holy efforts to perfect their lives.

If a person were properly convicted about the coming Day of Judgment, there would be little time for anything else but perfecting others by wise rebukes and instruction. For once you stand before the King of kings, you will very strongly wish others had rebuked you more, and others will very strongly wish you had rebuked them more. Why make it the great Day of Regret? Gently and wisely rebuke sin where you see it today.


Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 27:10 Do not forsake your friend your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother’s house when disaster strikes you-better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away

Great men have great friends. Here is precious wisdom. But very few men qualify as great friends. It is very prudent to keep such friends, even above a blood brother. A small band of committed and virtuous friends is far better than the natural relationship of family. Blood may be thicker than water, as it is said, but it is not thicker than godly character in Jesus Christ! “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Pr 18:24).

When trouble comes, and it will come, you want a real friend to stand with you, one that loves at all times and considers your problems to be his own (Pr 17:17). You want a friend that thinks the same as you and will stand with you no matter the cost or difficulty. A cultivated friendship based on character, conviction, truth, and wisdom will far surpass the expected help of a natural brother that is only connected to you by blood and name.

Your success depends on great friends, for there are four benefits (Eccl 4:9-12). When God gives such a friend, it is a great blessing. Solomon used this proverb to help his son rule a great nation that stretched from the Euphrates to Egypt. He himself had benefited much by his father’s friends, Hiram the King of Tyre (II Sam 5:11; I Kgs 5:1-18) and Benaiah, captain of the bodyguards (II Sam 20:23; 23:20-23; I Kgs 1:38; 2:25-46).

Consider inspired history. Joseph found greater kindness from foreign captors than his brothers. David found greater loyalty and service from vagabonds than his envious brothers, and he found greater love and loyalty from Jonathan. Jesus found greater sympathy and loyalty from His disciples than His brothers (John 7:1-5; Luke 22:15).  He knew His true friends were those who heard the word of God and kept it (Matt 12:46-50).

God chose David for his pure heart (I Sam 16:6-13). Jonathan saw this clearer than his envious brothers did (I Sam 17:28). Though losing much, he loved him dearly (I Sam 18:1-4). Loving virtue above family and career, Jonathan chose David over his own father (I Sam 19:1-7). They made a vow against the blood ties of Jonathan (I Sam 20:1-17) and included their children (I Sam 23:42). David valued Jonathan’s love above women (II Sam 1:26), and he saved Jonathan’s son when he was in need (II Sa 9:1; 21:7).

Godly friends are superior to blood brothers, for the relationship is built on a better foundation. They are superior for their regenerated hearts, the precious blood of Christ, the absolute truth of God’s Word, godly hatred of compromise, a life pursuit of holiness, and the hope of eternal life. The Bible recognizes these friends as dear as one’s own soul, even distinguishing them from a precious wife (Deut 13:6; I Sam 18:1,3; 20:17).

Do you understand the importance of this lesson? Without great friendships based in godliness, who will help in the day of your calamity? You will go down and stay down. Two are better than one for four reasons, and you risk your future by not securing good friends (Eccl 4:9-12). A wise man will secure his life and that of his family by doing what is necessary to preserve vital friendships with noble and virtuous men.

There is a place for godly networking, though the objective and methods are infinitely superior to the world’s effort to find contacts and customers for their own selfish ends. The great God instructed His messengers to be lovers of good men (Titus 1:8), as Paul was of Timothy (Acts 16:1-3; Phil 2:19-23; II Tim 1:1-5). Most so-called Christians have no clue about great friends, because they despise men that are holy (II Tim 3:1-5).

What kinds of friends meet the intent of this proverb? The context, unusual in Proverbs, gives valuable traits of godly friends (Pr 27:4-5,9). True friends love at all times, whether you are in good or bad circumstances (Pr 17:17). They are chosen for their fear of God, love of truth, and personal righteousness (Ps 119:63). Do you know such men? You cannot cheat on any of these measures, or you will lose the benefit you are seeking.

The blood of Jesus Christ creates an immediate bond greater than human blood, when two lovers and followers of Christ meet by the kind providence of God. There is no selfishness, self-protection, fear, doubts, or hidden agenda between such friends. They fully trust each other (I Sam 14:6-7), and they strengthen each other in God (I Sam 23:14-18). And they love to unite their zeal in doing great things for God (II Kgs 10:15-16).

False friends, who comprise the vast majority of all men in the world, are fair weather friends – they only stand with you while it is easy and profitable (Pr 14:20; 19:4). Or they are carnal friends, whose friendship is based on worldly compatibility. Or they are weak friends, whom you must constantly help due to their lack of character. David had no use for false brethren or the harsh spirits of his nephews (Ps 101:3-8; 144:11; II Sam 3:39).

Do you deserve great friends? Loners do not have them, for they are too selfish to give. Rebels lose out because their unruly spirits are dangerous and offensive. Compromisers will not have any, for they cannot be trusted. The greater zeal a man has for Jesus Christ, the greater he will be loved by such men. Godliness and virtue attract godly and virtuous men; and godliness and virtue drive away carnal men. Holy living will bring holy friends.

In order to have great friends, you must be friendly (Pr 18:24). In order to keep them, you must not forsake them (Pr 27:10). Friendship is a two-way street, and you are foolish to think that great men should need no encouragement. It is the providential blessing of God that brings great friends into your life, and most of them should be found in your church, if it is a church sold out to Jesus Christ (I Cor 12:18). Some can be thankful they have double brothers or sisters, united by both family blood and Jesus Christ’s blood!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 27:6 – Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Who would prefer a friend’s wounds to an enemy’s kisses? Anyone who considers the source. A friend who has your best interest at heart may have to give you unpleasant advice at times, but you know it is for your own good. An enemy, by contrast may whisper sweet words and happily send you on your way to ruin. We tend to hear what we want to hear, even if an enemy is the only one who will say it. A friend’s advice, no matter how painful, is much more valuable.

True love wounds! Kisses often lie! Here is a great proverb of true friendship and love. No matter what you think, true friends wound each other – they correct, rebuke, and warn each other for their mutual perfection. These faithful gestures of love are precious. On the other hand, false friends may easily show much outward affection or attention, which are a lying cover for their selfish hearts. Lord, give us wounding friends!

Solomon rejected the world’s idea of love. If we believe their love songs, they think love is pleasure taken from another person. Consider, “If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with,” and, “Will you still love me tomorrow?” The words, “I love you,” are to many just a lie to get something from another. Of course, if both persons are lying and taking from each other at the same time, they call that “great chemistry.”

Who cares if you send cards, kiss, or say the three words? They are not proof of anything of value! They might very well be cover for your selfish ambition to take advantage of another person! Who cares if you shake hands, smile a lot, and give many compliments? Flattering others to obtain their response for mutual self-love is disgusting! These are not evidences of friendship or love. Only wounds show true friendship and love!

True friendship and love give! And they give for the benefit of others! Love is selfless! Lust is selfish! True love is finding the blessing in giving to another. Since pleasing God and having a good account on the Day of Judgment are life’s greatest goals, the highest measure of love is helping another meet those goals).
If you truly love another person, all your actions toward them will be governed by the goals of helping them please God and prepare for the Day of Judgment. Therefore, you will correct, rebuke, and warn as necessary. You will not coddle, compromise, or overlook actions that hurt their relationship with God or lead to sin in their life. Godly love will not cover sins: it will correct sins. It will not condone evil; it will condemn evil.

This truth about friendship and love is too high for most. They believe the devil’s lie that friendship and love are seeking pleasure and keeping things comfortable, happy, and peaceful in relationships, regardless of another’s conduct. But if you truly care for a person, you will want to help perfect them If you do not rebuke their sin, you hate them!

What kind of friend do you want? What kind of friend are you? Do you want one who pampers your fancies and flatters your vanity? One who enjoys your presence, cheers you with kindness, and serves you? Such a friend will not help. You are a sinner; you need a real friend, who will watch for your soul and correct you when necessary. The other kind is quite worthless, very deceitful, and will leave you wanting in the time of real need.
Godly men are anxious to have their faults pointed out, and they are very grateful when another will perform the selfless act (Ps 141-5: Let a righteous man strike me –it is a kindness; let him rebuke me-it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it).

Where can you find godly friends described and implied by this proverb? In a true church of Jesus Christ, where the duties and privileges of friendship and love are exemplified, taught, promoted, and required. You need the body of Christ, made up of unique members chosen by God, for maximizing your spiritual prosperity!
Who loves you the most? The one having the most mutual pleasure with you, or the one doing the most for you? If you learned from this proverb, you know it is the one doing the most for you. If you are one of God’s elect, Jesus Christ gave His life for you and lives today for you. And He wisely chastens your every fault for your perfection in holiness. He is the greatest Friend you will ever have!