Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers. Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving.
It’s not uncommon for us to throw around the word “evil” these days. Terrorism is evil. ISIS is evil. Sex trafficking is evil. Child pornography is evil. Child abuse is evil. Spousal abuse is evil. The list is long and usually obvious, but what about the subtler presence of evil? Do you know any “evildoers” in your life?
Evildoers can be friendly. Evildoers can be smart. Evildoers can be well educated and successful. Evildoers may live next door or work in the next office over. In general, the evildoers in today’s passage are lost and worldly. Scripture warns us that “friendship with the world makes one an enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4) and so Solomon is warning us not to follow in their path. Do you have any friends or co-workers or neighbors that tend to pull you in a worldly direction?
Perhaps it’s a little “fun” here and there. An invitation to “party” or “let your hair down.” Maybe it’s a subtle head nod into slander or gossip or to help advance a rumor. Maybe one of these friends is disparaging towards your spouse or your family…your boss or your co-worker. Perhaps they insist that one more drink is no big deal or that some other activity is ok “just this one time” because “nobody will ever know.” Do you have someone like that in your life?
God is telling us quite plainly to cut off those relationships. Don’t think about it – just end it. Don’t follow them, but rather, turn and walk in the opposite direction. Putting an end to most relationships is never easy, but sometimes in order to walk with God, we have to make a choice: Follow the evildoer…or follow the One who loves you and died for you. The choice, of course, is yours.