It’s summer time. This means that no matter how hard we try there will inevitably be somewhere in our house a trail of ants. They don’t make it long though. Once we discover their plot to steal all of our candy we put a stop to them. If they make it into the house we put out Terro liquid ant baits. These things work wonderfully. It uses the ants lust for our sugar against them. They think they are bringing back some sweet jollies to their dastardly queen but really they are bringing her a nice little dose of poison.
I’d almost feel bad for them. But it’s either my sugar or theirs. Sorry, ants. You lose.
The way I poison ants (that makes me sound so nefarious) is similar to the way in which the wicked man attempts to draw us into his path. Their path doesn’t look all that perilous. It might even look sugary. The wicked man in Proverbs 2 is more like Jimmy Fallon than Charlie Manson.
The wicked man of Proverbs 2 isn’t the one who people scoff at. His road is long and winding. And it’s difficult to see the end of a twisted road. The wicked man is successful and impressive. He is the guy other guys wants to be and the ladies want to be with. And what he offers is being on the winning side. It’s an especially attractive lure to those who are not naturally valued members of society. He promises that if you follow his path you’ll be led into the promised land.
The Proverbs 2 wicked man is actually an apostate. He has forsaken the path of uprightness. This means he knows the lingo. He knows the way believers think, and so he traps us with our own words. His perverted speech doesn’t mean that he tells dirty jokes. It’s more what Ray Ortlund says, “It includes even good words, but good words being used to turn things upside down…bad men use good words to smuggle in bad realities, and some people are fooled.”
What this person is doing we learn from verse 12 is he rivals the speech of the father. He’s offering a different way, an alternative. And he’s doing it with a smile on his face. From all appearance they look like they are having their cake and eating it too. They are flipping their nose at the Lord and getting away with it. They are exuberant, fun, merry in heart and soul, all the while opposing all that is good. The crooked path seems to be the one that leads to the most joy.
Friends, if we think that the wicked path is one marked by immediate misery then we’ll be lured down the curvy way. Those first few twists and turns are going to be exciting and look exciting. It was temporary pleasures that Moses forsook for the sake of the kingdom. We are all partakers of the happiness cult. Every good and perfect gift does come from God—but the wicked man can make it appear like poison is a good and perfect gift.
If you choose the path that looks the happiest you probably won’t choose the path of the Cross.