Naysayers or Yes Men
by Allen Scott
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"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm"?—Proverbs 13:20
The allure of the world’s riches has caused many to fall by the wayside. The deceitfulness of riches ability to heal us of all ills has bankrupted many a soul on this journey called life.
Each week we are reminded of the failings of mankind when another person finds themselves shipwrecked on the rocks of disgrace and shame. Paris Hilton, although used to being in the spotlight for her celebrity status as an heir to the great Hilton empire, recently found out her celebrity status could not keep her from a prison cell. In fact the media frenzy that surrounds her just might have added to her misfortunes. For a person who is so used to the richness of privilege to find herself in a less than advantageous position had to be very humiliating for her. What brought Paris to this place in her life? Could something been done to prevent this from happening?
A resounding yes would be the reply of any thinking person. Had someone stepped in to persuade her to stop her partying ways and take her life a bit more seriously perhaps she could have avoided her prison sentence.
Newspapers are filled with stories of the have’s who end up face down in life’s cesspools. In just our recent past we can name many celebrities who have fallen from the heights of respect to the depths of shame. Lindsey, Britney, Anna Nicole, O.J., Michael Jackson, “The Huff” must we go on?
Many through their hardships found a better way.
Some still live in disgrace to this day.
Christendom is not void of those who had fallen from great heights into public shame and disgrace. Who can forget PTL and James and Tammy Faye? Do you recall Jimmy Swaggart’s moral failure? All of us need to take heed and listen to what Proverbs has to say about this subject. To use a modern day proverb one could say if you lie down with the dogs you are likely to get up with fleas.
Jehoshaphat was King of Judah during the time that King Ahab was ruler of Israel. There was no one else like Ahab. At the urging of his wife, he sold himself to do what the Lord considered evil. 1 Kings 21:25–26 GW
Israel had enjoyed three years of peace from the Syrians and Ahab wanted to go up against them to take some land. Ahab was never satisfied with what he had for prior to this occasion he had Naboth killed to take his vineyard for his own. (1Kings 21:1–16)
It was during this time of peace and prosperity that Jehoshaphat went down to meet with King Ahab and while the two were meeting Ahab inquired of Jehoshaphat to raise war against the Syrians. Jehoshaphat agreed to do so after inquiring of the prophets of the Lord.
Ahab had surrounded himself with false prophets who would tell him whatever it was he wanted to hear instead of what God required for him to do. This led to his eventual downfall and defeat. 1Kings 22:5-23
Most people surround themselves with well wishers and yes men to their own detriment. No matter how hard AHAB tried to dismiss the negative prophet his end was just like the prophet had espoused. Had AHAB listened to the negative reports and changed his ways perhaps things could have been different for him.
Prosperity became the downfall of many a man and women down through time. The world had elevated them to a high position and they started to think that they were invincible. Money can buy many things but it can not save a person from themselves. No matter how much we achieve in this world if we fail to achieve wisdom along the way then we will end up looking foolish.
It is easy to dismiss negative people but those who ignore wise counsel and instead choose to walk in the ways of the foolish shall suffer disgrace and perhaps even death.
Had Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson not surrounded themselves with people who would tell them what they wanted to hear all the time perhaps they too could have avoided the shame of their foolish actions. Had Jimmy Swaggart and James Baker heeded the words of the scripture they themselves taught perhaps they too could have avoided the pitfalls of foolish pride.
Granted it is very possible that God had tried to interfere in the affairs of these people like He had done for Ahab but, like Ahab, they too refused to listen.
In order to lead balanced lives we need the rain as well as the sunshine.
My son, do not make little of the Lord's punishment, and do not give up hope when you are judged by him; For the Lord sends punishment on his loved ones; everyone whom he takes as his son has experience of his rod. It is for your training that you undergo these things; God is acting to you as a father does to his sons; for what son does not have punishment from his father? But if you have not that punishment of which we all have our part, then you are not true sons, but children of shame. Heb 12:5-8 (BBE)
Unlike our earthly fathers God does not spare the rod for He knows by withholding punishment it leads to our shame. I do not know about you but I like being a son.
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