Facebook Friends of Biblebase host Ron Bailey posted this a few days ago:
“Enter not into the path of the wicked,
And walk not in the way of evil men. Avoid it,
pass not by it;
Turn from it,
and pass on.”(Prov. 4:14–15 ASV)
“Yield not to temptation
For yielding is sin…”
Verses from Proverbs, lines from an old hymn, these complementing each other. Do you make the connection? There is a difference between temptation and entering into temptation. To come across the pathway of the wicked and feel an attraction is not sin; to turn into that pathway is a different matter. It is not sin to be tempted. It is sin to enter into temptation.
Later that same day I came across something in F.B. Meyer’s devotional Our Daily Homily. He was talking about Jesus’ parable of the types of ground that receive seed, enlarging particularly on the thorny ground. This is what he said:
“And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful” (Mk. 4:19).
There is enough nutriment in the land for the thorns alone or for the wheat alone, but not for both; and so there is a brief struggle for mastery, in which the sturdy weed prevails against the slender wheat, and chokes it. Nourishment which should go to its support is drained away from it; and though it does not actually expire, it leads a struggling existence, and becomes unfruitful. What are these weeds? For the poor man—Cares: The Greek word for care is Division. Cares divide our heart, and distract it in many different directions…. What shall the poor man do to prevent the Word from becoming unfruitful? He must take his cares to his Father, and by one act deposit them in His safe-keeping.
And thereafter, as a care tries to break in on the peace of his heart, he must treat it as a positive temptation, handing it over to God.
Positive—he means no doubt about it, this is a temptation disguised as a responsibility.
That arrested me, particularly because of the earlier reading on Friends of Biblebase.
The deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things are more easily recognized as temptations to be resisted. What about the cares of this world? “What shall the poor man do to prevent the Word from becoming unfruitful?”
“He must take his cares to his Father, and by one act deposit them in His safe-keeping.”
That is a reference to a passage in 1 Peter:
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1Pe 5:6,7 KJV)
Various commentators and other translations show that the more accurate translation of verse 7 is, “Having cast [once for all the whole of your care] upon Him, for He careth for you (1 Pt. 5:6,7).
Peter is saying that this is to be something done once, and once-for-all. The idea is of unburdening ourselves and loading on Him the whole of our cares—once-for-all. Any attempt of any care to re-impose itself upon us must be recognized for what it is—a temptation. A temptation which is not to be entered into, but resisted, put in its place.
It’s very interesting and comforting that the word “careth” in “He careth for you” is a verb from the same root as the noun “care” used earlier in the sentence—having cast all your care on Him—where it means, anxious care, care that divides and distracts the heart. If, then, we take that same meaning forward into the phrase “He careth for you,” construing it positively now, we understand our dear Lord is, well, not really “distracted” with our care, but totally concerned and preoccupied with it, giving it His undivided attention, considering it His own, and therefore His own responsibility. There is no way He is going to neglect it or let it fall to the ground.
So let us lay it to heart. Let us recognize care for what it is—a thorny weed determined to choke out the growing Word of God in our lives. Let us not yield to the temptation to give it room. Let us not solace it once again, nor feed on it, worrying it as a dog a bone. Let us not converse with it in our minds, let us not give it the time of day. Let us not enter into temptation. Let us resist it. It is in safe caring hands. Let us, then, be encouraged to continue care-less!