Greed of Unjust Gain: It Takes Away the Life of Its Possessors. Therefore, Find Your Gain In the LORD

I see something of an active and a passive role of the enticement shown in Proverbs 1:10. There is the active enticement of sinners: those who directly come to you and speak their words and entreat you to join them in their blood-shed. But this is not usually the way a person is enticed. I don’t find often in my circumstances people approaching me directly and so brashly requesting me to commit such blatant acts of sin. Often the way I am enticed, rather, is by my perception and desire of those who commit such acts. Their behavior is one that is misleading and enticing. Without words they can speak with their behaviors and through my own desires do i find myself enticed by their sin. This is the passive role of enticement: that is, one that I rather look upon with a lust and a fleshly desire and am instead enticed by what appears to bring gain. In its essence, I find myself saying “I want that”.

There always appears to be a profit with these men, hence the unjust gain mentioned in verse 19. This is the bait that snares. If there were no apparent profit in such behavior or actions then there would be no desire to join in the blood-shed. But there is a gain and profit in their doings. But as Solomon shows for us, the gain and profit they seek is a vapor and vanity which in the end takes away the life of its possessor. The reason it takes away the life of its possessor is not because of the object itself, but it is rather the inordinate desire that is the ultimate undoing of such a person. A true desire is meant to lead you to something that will bring you life, but the desires these men of blood-shed are twisted. The reason for such an undoing on account of distorted desires is because the desire always leads to something that cannot finally quench. Their desires are then always unsatisfying, and like a man who is lost in a desert and has but a single drop of water at the end of each day, his life is literally stripped from him in pursuit of that desire which will never be satisfied; he will never have a mouth or belly full of water.

I see yet another dimension of the man of blood-shed. In reading the Psalms, David continually portrays his constant satisfaction he has in God and how the LORD is his only good. On the other hand, those of men of blood-shed are never satisfied; continually seeking but never finding, continually murdering but never gaining enough to satisfy. This is another dimension to how this distorted desire takes away the life of its possessor, for they are never freed to say “I am content, there is no more I seek”. Only one who knows the LORD is able to say “I am content, there is no more I seek”. A man of blood-shed can never rest. If he does rest, it is false, it appears to our untrained eyes as a rest, but i venture to say that this man is doing one of two things, if not both. The first is he is looking ahead to his next venture of gain that he believes will truly satisfy his insatiable appetite, hence the inordinate desire. But there is also another man, and he is one who believes that he has found that one thing that he believes provides him with satisfaction he desires. He is constantly looking behind, which I think is much more common among us than we would admit. The end of such a person is the same as the first, that is, they are never satisfied with their possession. The reason for this is that they are constantly seeking to protect this gain, and in the process are never allowed to fully drink of it. Their pursuit of security of such a possession is their ultimate undoing, it takes their life away. Instead of their life spent actually fully enjoying what it is they pursued, their life is spent in a constant pursuit of preserving that which they seek to enjoy. Such is the nature of much of the insurance in our nation. We buy a house, but we are not fully able to enjoy it as we would like because we are forced to overwork ourselves to put up insurance to preserve our dwelling. We are not even allowed to take part in our own gain because our lives are dictated by fear. This is the manner of the one who lives his life constantly looking behind him, that is, constantly looking to preserve his desired.

This leads me to see that the LORD is the only one who can be enjoyed here and now, and even more so, the more we know of Him, the more we can enjoy him. The danger in such a thought is that we can become those who are raptured with wanting the more, and not raptured with having the now. That is, we can want the “having more of God” instead of simply “having God”. Our desire for God even becomes one of unsatisfaction. We are always seeing that we are not at our full enjoyment of God and therefore always pursuing the ‘more’ so in turn we are never satisfied with what we have and not simply enjoying God Himself. The peace with such a thought, though, is that we who truly do enjoy God are aware that this moment is the best thus far and even more, it will only grow greater and greater, deeper and deeper, and more beautiful with each moment we spend knowing Him. We are not those seeking the next great revelation of enjoyment, but simply those who are ravished here and now with our LORD. We are those who are fully satisfied with this moment, as if there could be none better, when yet, the LORD provides a new moment that is now better than the last we had. But we are never left wanting more; we are simply satisfied.

The beauty of this contrasted with the depravation of the man of blood-shed is that the one who is satisfied in the LORD is not concerned with the two things of the man of blood-shed. He is not looking forward to obtain more, for what he has is overly sufficient – his desire is fully satisfied. Nor is he ever looking back to preserve his possession. He does not do this because he is aware of the limitlessness of the LORD, for nothing of Him can be taken away, so he is not constantly trying to preserve what he has, for what he does have can only be added unto and not in the slightest be taken away.

This leads me to think that if we are not experiencing the joy we seek, it is not as though it were taken away, but we are simply blinded to it because of our sin. Our peace with God is not taken away from us, it is just clouded by the haze of sin. We have not removed ourself out of the blessing of God, but we have placed ourselves in a position to no longer see the position. Our inheritance is guaranteed, the question we must ask ourselves is “do we see it”. We must come humbly with repentance and seeking only to find the LORD with a heart and attitude that says “It is only You alone that I am after LORD, there truly is no good aside from You, You are my portion and inheritance forever. As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after You”

As Saint Augustine said “He loves Thee to little who loves anything together with Thee, which he loves not for Thy sake”


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