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Run, Forest, Run!

Proverbs 1:10-11, 13a

My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent! Think of the great things we’ll get!”

In the famous movie, Forest Gump, young Forest is being pelted with rocks by some local bullies when his friend exhorts him to, “Run, Forest, run!” Forest takes off and miraculously gets away from the abuse. It’s a lesson we could all stand to learn.

Solomon knew full well that it was a matter of when, rather than if, we would all face the enticing words and/or actions of sinners. And since every human being on the planet is a sinner, who is Solomon warning us to turn away from, exactly? The structure of the Hebrew noun, in this case, suggests habitual, chronic sinners. (As an aside, a habitual sinner, by definition, cannot be a true Believer.) Sometimes they are obvious and sinister, but more often than not, they are smooth, subtle, and even friendly. They may show up at work, or in your neighborhood, or at a party, or on your computer or smartphone. They may be a friend, a stranger, or even a family member.

Their offers may entice you with what appears to be fun, or self-serving, or advantageous. It may be something that would help you get back at your enemies or allow you to hurt someone who has hurt you. Perhaps they whisper that “no one will ever know” or “you deserve it”. Whatever it is…however enticing it may be…the Word of the Lord gives you one proper response:

“Turn you back on them!”

Sin is not complicated. It’s always a simple Yes or No choice…especially when it comes to the enticing temptations of a habitual sinner. Jesus could handle isolation and a personal encounter with the Devil himself. We can’t. Forest Gump isn’t the only one who should run the other way. We should, too…from the sin, as well as the sinner who seeks to entice us.