Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“He who walks with wise men shall be wise,
but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
Solomon, in Proverbs 13:20
When Moses gave the law of God to Israel, he understood that the law would prove to be the salvation of every soul who loved it. He tried in many ways to persuade the nation of God’s children to believe that the law was for their good, but one short summation of the importance of the law stands out above all others. It is this comment from Moses to Israel: “It is your life.”
When the law of God is your life, when His commandments are the thing that give you the life you love, then you are like Jesus, who considered the word of God to be his food (Jn. 4:31-34). In other words, to Jesus, he could not live without hearing from God and doing His will. To him, God’s word was essential. Job felt the same way. He said at one point during his awful trial, “I have esteemed your word more than my necessary food.”
When we value the will of God as Jesus and Job did, we cannot stray from the right path because when we value the will of God as Jesus and Job did, then God’s will is our path, and there is no other that we will choose to follow. When we value God’s will to the point of it being what keeps us alive, we will not seek companions who have any less an interest in the things of God. Such people are a heavy weight to those who are “marching to Zion”. I want everyone who can endure this life without doing the will of God to depart from me. I want no part in the life of anyone who can be happy outside the will of God. I am not interested in friendship with this world, and I don’t want my mind and heart cluttered with the constant troubles of those who are friends with the world.
May God help us to have hearts like Jesus. When we do, we will desire only the companionship of the righteous; we will not envy the wicked but will expose and condemn them. We will feel like David, who boldly said, “Depart from me, you bloody men!” (Ps. 139:19). And then, with strong confidence, he could pray to God concerning the Final Judgment, “Lord! I have loved the habitation of your house and the place where your honor dwells. Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men.” David wanted nothing whatsoever to do with those whom he knew God would destroy. He is probably the one who taught his son Solomon that “He who walks with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
Choose your companions carefully. Paul warned us not to think we are above being influenced: “Do not be deceived; bad companions corrupt good habits” (1Cor. 15:33). You cannot escape the influence of those whom you allow to play a significant role in your life. We must live in this world, and being here in this sin-sick world, we must deal with foul spirits daily. But only a fool makes it harder on himself by welcoming unclean spirits into the mainstream of his life.