Proverbs 22:3 – Cultural Secession

(Pro 22:3) A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

I ended the last post with this verse and I thought it would be worth a little commentary.  The concept here is not about hiding in the hills because there is trouble.  The idea is to be wise and prepare how best to serve those in times of trouble.  I will give credit here to the second phrase I heard from Franklin Sanders that also helped us in our journey, that is “Cultural Secession”. 

While the south may not have been able to secede from the union, there is no one forcing the people of the South, North, East or West to practice the culture that followed that great war.  We do not have to watch the wicked and perverse entertainment, we are not forced to place our children under the government school system, and to some extend we do not have to participate in their economy.  We are not forced to embrace the ideas and philosophies of the ISMs that shaped America during the 19th century.  One friend of ours summed the concept up like this.  “We are engaging in short term cultural secession, with a view towards long term dominion.”

The principle is simple, if you follow the culture and are enslaved by the same things that enslave the culture, then you will not be free to serve or lead the culture.  The motive in the previous post should be seen as an encouragement for God’s people to strive to be in a position to lead in times of trouble and serve their community around them, not to lead by running away from the trouble.  The following are two commentaries on this passage that I believe speak to the heart of the matter.

John Gill:

Pro 22:3 – A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself,…. A wise man, whose eyes are in his head, who looks about him and before him, and is cautious and careful of his conduct and behaviour; he foresees the evil of sin he is liable to be drawn into by such and such company, snares, and temptations; and therefore he keeps from them, and abstains from all appearance of evil, or what would lead him to it; and he foresees the evil of punishment, or the judgments of God that are coming on for sin; and he betakes himself to the Lord, to those hiding places and chambers of retreat and protection he has provided for his people, till the indignation be overpast; see Isaiah 26:20;

but the simple pass on, and are punished: foolish persons, devoid of the grace of God and the fear of him, go on careless and unconcerned in their sinful course of life, transgressing the law of God; they proceed from evil to evil, from lesser to greater sins; they go on in the broad road to destruction, and are punished with temporal judgments here, and with everlasting destruction hereafter.

Matthew Henry:

Pro 22:3 –
See here, 1. The benefit of wisdom and consideration: A prudent man, by the help of his prudence, will foresee an evil, before it comes, and hide himself; he will be aware when he is entering into a temptation and will put on his armour and stand on his guard. When the clouds are gathering for a storm he takes the warning, and flies to the name of the Lord as his strong tower. Noah foresaw the deluge, Joseph the years of famine, and provided accordingly. 2. The mischief of rashness and inconsideration. The simple, who believe every word that flatters them, will believe none that warns them, and so they pass on and are punished. They venture upon sin, though they are told what will be in the end thereof; they throw themselves into trouble, notwithstanding the fair warning given them, and they repent their presumption when it is too late. See an instance of both these, Exodus 9:20 & 21. Nothing is so fatal to precious souls as this, they will not take warning.

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