3 ¶ A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Two types of people are referenced here; the prudent and the simple. We’ve already seen that a prudent person is wise by the Bible’s own way of defining words in 16:21 and18:15 by parallel phrasing. The simple are inexperienced, young, and naïve as in 1:4; 7:7 and don’t know anything in 9:13.
This very verse is repeated word for word in 27:12, too. Now, evil has several different meanings in the Bible. It is the opposite of good in the very second chapter of Genesis. It carries with it the thought of intended malice and violence in Genesis 37:20, Amos 6:3, and Jonah 3:8, again shown by contrast and parallel phrasing. It is trouble, calamity, and disaster in Isaiah 45:7; Matthew 6:34; and I Timothy 6:10. So, it is a general term that doesn’t always mean simply sinful iniquity. To render it to mean only that would blaspheme God in Isaiah 45:7 and make Matthew 6:34 a joke. However, here it can obviously be trouble and sinful iniquity, which go hand in hand.
In this verse, a prudent or wise man looks ahead and sees trouble or sin and avoids it but the naïve and inexperienced walk right into it and suffer the consequences. Christians are warned first;
1Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
And comforted with;
1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
For these reasons prudent Pastors do not counsel women alone. For these reasons there is no such thing as Christian dating, where a couple is getting to know each other alone, without the company of other Christians. For these reasons, a Christian isn’t going to be passing out tracts at the local public swimming pool or in the bar on the corner.
For these reasons a Christian isn’t going to have movies in his or her home with sexual or gratuitously, as in having no point but to excite, violent content, remembering;
Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
(Admit it, guys. You love violence. You love feminine beauty. There is about a millimeter distance between gratuitous violence and sex, and violent pornography which is what most horror and action/adventure movies are, anyway. I heard a British movie reviewer even say that the Passion of the Christ was a sadomasochistic thriller for gay men. Keep this in mind the next time you watch a movie not based on an actual historical event. All leading women in thrillers and romances are a type of the church: the bride of Christ, all heroes are a type of Christ, and all villains or “the other guy” are a type of Satan, the flesh, or the world. Now, tell yourself if the movie you’re watching presents it correctly or perverts it for your flesh.)
For these reasons, Christians should be careful and cautious about acquiring credit cards and unnecessary debt.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
If you are wise and not simple, you’ll see trouble ahead and avoid it like the plague; you know, like you do the boss at work.
Go into everything with your eyes open. Never expect anything for nothing and don’t think that you are so spiritual that you’re going to be the one to defy the odds and walk right into a trap of Satan or your flesh and walk right back out unscathed.
It’s the simple and unwise who get ambushed, not the wise.