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Friends in Low Places

I will admit that I am partial to country music. I don’t like all of it but some of it is okay. One of my favorite songs is “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks. He sings about sticking it to his ex by showing up at her wedding and making her new husband feel uncomfortable when he raises a toast and says:

Honey we may be through but you’ll never hear me complain. 

He then goes on to sing about his friends in “low places”. Apparently these friends hang out at the bars and get drunk together. Obviously, this song does not highlight Christian values but it does remind me of the first proverb given to us in the book of Proverbs when Solomon writes:

1:10 My child, if sinners try to entice you,

do not consent! 

1:11 If they say, “Come with us!

We will lie in wait to shed blood; 

we will ambush an innocent person capriciously. 

1:12 We will swallow them alive like Sheol,

those full of vigor like those going down to the Pit.

1:13 We will seize all kinds of precious wealth;

we will fill our houses with plunder. 

1:14 Join with us! 

We will all share equally in what we steal.”

1:15 My child, do not go down their way, 

withhold yourself from their path;

1:16 for they are eager to inflict harm, 

and they hasten to shed blood. 

1:17 Surely it is futile to spread a net

in plain sight of any bird, 

1:18 but these men lie in wait for their own blood, 

they ambush their own lives! 

1:19 Such are the ways of all who gain profit unjustly; 

it takes away the life of those who obtain it! -NET

Solomon begins this proverb telling us to be aware of those around us that entice us to sin with them (10). He then goes on to give an example of people planning to kill someone so they can take their wealth (11-14). Many of us are confronted day in and day out with people like this. Growing up I was tempted by people like this and unfortunately I gave in to that temptation. Also, being a former youth minister I saw young people being bombarded with drugs, alcohol, and pornography. Many of their friends were partaking in activities that were not pleasing to God and were not healthy. Granted none of them killed anyone but they were all looking for what the evil people described in this text were after…self-pleasure.

The love of money is the root to all kinds of evil (1 Tim. 6:10) but it is like drinking or porn because it shares the characteristic of  selfishness that is at its foundation. When I drink it makes me feel good. When I look at porn it makes me feel good. When I have money it makes me feel good. “Me” is what these things have in common. However, Solomon wants us to be reminded that focusing “me” isn’t what is best for us.

In verse 15 Solomon warns us to not follow the paths of evil doers. Then he writes something that is very interesting:

17 Surely it is futile to spread a net

in plain sight of any bird, 

18 but these men lie in wait for their own blood, 

they ambush their own lives! 

Using the illustration he speaks about the need to ambush the prey. A bird is not going to fly into a net that they can see. He then flips the illustration upside down when he says, “but these men lie in wait for their own blood.” These evil men aren’t only snuffing out the lives of those they are ambushing but they are destroying their own by engaging in these activities. They will get justice one day because God does not take kindly to those who blatantly go against his law. This is the same for those who pursue lives of sexual immorality or addiction. Sexual immorality hurts others by creating a false sense of love and security in relationships. It hurts the ability of those who engage in it to have full and committed relationships in the future. Addiction brings pain to family members and friends. It tends to instill a me-first mentality because satisfying the addiction becomes more important than the good of those around them.

Solomon is not saying, “Never befriend a sinner.” We all know sinners that are in need of repentance and we can be the vessels that God uses to bring those people to salvation. What Solomon is saying is to be aware of those in your life that attempt to drag you into their selfishness. Be cautious of the relationships you have with those who are in rebellion against a holy and righteous God. Be a light in their life but be careful to not have that witness be snuffed out by poor decisions.

Have friends in low places but be sure you are pulling them up instead of them pulling you down.

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About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we have one amazing child! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on February 21, 2012, in Christianity, Culture, Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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