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Street Gangs and Radical Islam
Proverbs 1:11-14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
12 like Sheol swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with spoil;
14 throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse,”
The bait obviously is wealth. Based on making fast money, “sinners” entice others into entanglement in their violent or criminal schemes. For a few dollars, these wicked ones do not pause to think and will even kill someone. They ‘like Sheol swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit,’ stripping them of everything they have, just as the grave takes in the whole body. Their appeal to others is to a profession in crime. They want to ‘fill their houses with spoil.’ They need the young new ones to ‘throw in their lot among them.’ What an appropriate message this is for us in today’s world! Street gangs, drug dealers, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and radical Islam use similar recruiting tactics? Is not the guarantee of immediate wealth the appeal of many dubious propositions? For radical Islam, it is identical, but riches in this world are replaced with promises of rewards in the next world.
As an aside, it is essential to note that God is not saying that all crowds are bad. However, it does suggest that it is smart to make certain what it is all about before being recruited by a crowd. Determine whether the actions of the crowd are in accord with the Word of God. Do not infer that, just because many people are following a specific course, it must be appropriate. The majority can be wrong. The majority is not always correct.
Solomon has shared with us the deceptive reasonings that criminals (sinners) use in their attractions and the arts of using flattery or coaxing to persuade someone to do something, which they use for the tricking of weak, wavering, uncertain souls. Solomon specifies robbers, who do whatever it takes to draw others into their world. What do they want the young man to do? “Come with us; throw in your lot among us.” (1:11, 14) At first, they act as though this is their own motive, friendship, companionship, family, with the brave motto, ‘let us live and die together.’ Let’s get rich together. They offer the young mind extravagant, unquenchable passions they promote as immediate gratification and lure their prey into the trap. These people come across as heroes, brash, thirsting for blood from the innocent who has done nothing to them. They shame and condemn those that want to do good and right as weak and ignorant. They come across as warriors in a war where their ideology is all that matters, and if blood must be spilled, so be it. “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit.” It is all in vain, especially that which is gotten by taking it from others, Psa. 62:10. The satisfaction is but momentary. It is fleeting. One will either end up in prison or dead. It is just a matter of time.
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