A Defense Against Temptation

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. Proverbs 1:10

This verse, in brief compass and transparent terms, reveals the foe and the fight. It warns us of the danger that assails us, and suggests the method of defense.

The danger is, “If sinners entice thee.” There are enticers and enticements, the fowler and his snare. (1) The enticers of everyone be divided into two great classes: the internal and the external. The sinners that entice from within are the man’s own thoughts and desires; the sinners that entice from without are fellow-men who, having gone astray themselves are busy leading others after them – to an ill bargain; to a match of mischief, as Ahab did Jehoshaphat, as Potiphar’s wife would have done Joseph. (W. Arnot/Trapp)

The defense prescribed is, “Consent thou not.” It is a blunt, peremptory command. Your method of defense must be different from the adversary’s mode of attack. His strength lies in making gradual approaches, yours in a resistance sudden, resolute, total. The means of resisting (we do not speak here of the first and best means: the word of God and prayer) are: (1) refinement of manners; (2) profitable study; (3) benevolent effort; (4) improving company. (W. Arnot)

Not even the devil himself can lead a man into sin till he consents. Were it not so, how could God judge the world? (Adam Clarke)

That being said we can and we should by the power of the spirit “yield not to their persuasions, listen not to their solicitations, show no liking and approbation of them, assent neither by words nor deeds; do not say “thou wilt”; say “I will not”, and abide by it; be deaf to all their entreaties, and proof against all their persuasions. (John Gill)

We must carry a severe rebuke in thy countenance, as God doth. [Psalms 80:16] To rebuke them is the ready way to be rid of them. (Trapp)

Illustrations: Joseph (Genesis 39:7, 9, Genesis 39:10); prophet (1 Kings 13:8, 1 Kings 13:9); Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:49, contrast 2 Chronicles 18:2; 2 Chronicles 20:35-37); Joash (2 Chronicles 24:17, 2 Chronicles 24:18).