Verses 5-6 – Hunters in ancient times used nets in several ways to ensnare birds and animals. In the same way, flatterers can spread two sorts of spiritual nets, setting a snare for others. With one net, a flatterer manipulates people to do what he wants. With the other, he entangles them in pride. The one who has these nets set for him can escape them through discernment and God’s guidance. Eventually, all flatterers will be tripped by their own nets.
An evil man’s sin is like a snare, for it influences and entraps others to sin with him. This is how many people have fallen into a snare of drinking and partying, becoming addicted to alcohol, drugs, or crime. They may not have had an interest in taking drugs, drinking, or stealing, until friends encouraged them to join them. For this reason, it is very important to choose your friends wisely. Bad companions will corrupt good people.
Verse 7 – A wicked person is selfish. His world revolves completely around his own desires. He does not care about the poor, and he has no interest in helping the needy. The Bible tells us that “the poor shall never cease out of any land” (Deuteronomy 15:11). As long as sinful man reigns on earth, he will make decisions and actions that create poverty, and thus there will always be poor people. Only Christ can establish true justice and provide abundantly for all His subjects, thereby eradicating poverty. Only when Christ returns to earth and reigns during the Millennium, will poverty cease because the Lord told us we would always have the poor to minister to. “For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always” (Mark 14:7). We are called to reflect God’s heart to the world and the poor, to be compassionate as Jesus was. The strong are to help the weak.
We cannot truly follow Christ and ignore the needy or the helpless. In Israel, “the poor, the orphan, and the widow” described the most destitute and helpless of the people. Today, the most helpless among us are unborn children, murdered by abortion in atrociously painful ways, usually for convenience or out of the ignorance of their parents. The Bible teaches that we are to overcome selfishness, not encourage it. We must do all we can to reverse the laws in our countries that allow abortions so freely. “So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it” (Numbers 35:33).