It is one thing when the wicked are evil in their own ways and in their own thoughts, but that is not the case with some. They are not content unless they lead others astray into a similar lifestyle. This trait is at its worst when the one who has an ungodly lifestyle desires to lead the upright into that same wicked lifestyle. Yet God makes it plain that such choices - such attitudes will have to pay in the end.
The upright are thsoe who are desiring to walk straight - and this refers to someone who desires to do what is morally pure and right. Of course, since this is a biblical reference, we can assume that the moral course that is sought is that of the Scriptures. The wicked man spoken of here wants to lead this morally upstanding person astray. The word used here implies that someone has been deceived into their error. Thus they are now wandering and straying like lost sheep. They used to know the way of the Lord, but now they are straying like lost sheep having somehow been deceived to where they no longer look to the Scriptures for their moral rudder in life. The path they are trying to lead them in is the "evil way." Evil here is "ra" which is the term used for active evil - and it carries with it the idea of distress, misery, injury, and calamity.
I find it fascinating, living in a city with a major university, how often godly students are turned by professors who hate Christianity. What I find amazing is that the attacks that are made are almost always made at their trust and belief in God's Word. I think of the passage in Hosea that warns that if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? A very good question this is for us today. This is the reason why I take the time to teach high school and junior high students classes on worldviews and philosophy. During those classes I play devil's advocate and let them see what they will face in college. I challenge their statements as one of the professors at the university would - and do so mercilessly for 5 or 10 minutes. Then I back up and help them grasp what the philosophical backdrop was to that attack. We work on understanding the false reasoning that was in the attack and also how to raise up the shield of faith by holding fast to a biblical worldview. It is not easy for these students, because the barrage of questions, as well as the ignorance of other students is hard to stand in the midst of in class. Too often they are ganged up on in the midst of the discussion - and the teachers will use their authority to make the students stop talking before they can make their point. That is why we cover these things as well in class. They need to know that Christianity is credible as a worldview - but also that Paul said that the cross was as stumbling block to Jews - and considered foolishness by the Greeks (the philosophical eggheads of that age).
Our passage, though, has a warning to the wicked ones who try to lead the upright astray. They will fall into the pit that they are trying to dig for the upright. They think they will make the upright fall into a pit - that they will destroy their faith - but the one who will ultimately fall into the pit is the ungodly person who is trying to deceive. He thinks that the believer is deceived - but he is the one who is deceived. In the end, the very foolishness and philosophical ignorance of this man will damn him to the ultimate pit. I know that this sounds pretty harsh - but it is what the Scriptures say is the end of those who mock the things of God - who oppose God and His Word.
Just a note at the end for our instruction is given. The blameless will inherit good. Blameless here is the Hebrew word "tamim" and it means something or someone who is complete and tested. The word was used of the sacrificial animals that had been examined and found to be without flaw. What a marvelous word this is for this context. Here is the truth we need to see here. The wicked will seek to lead the upright astray into an immoral path - but we need to hold fast to the truth - to the Word of God. We need to stand through every trial - and oppose every falsehood that we face. Every time they try to deceive and undermine the foundation of our faith - we need to lift high the banner of Christ - hold fast to the Word of our God - and watch every argument fall infinitely short of the truth upon which we stand. When we do this we will be the blameless, tested, tried one who will inherit good.
Be ready, precious saints, for what you will face in the world. Christianity is not just a religious practice - something we can tack on to our lives like we would put up a poster in our rooms. It is a way of life - a philosophy - a worldview that is superior to all other worldviews. It is a relationship with the living God that we are granted through Jesus Christ. We need to view it as that - a life-changing way of viewing the world. We need to therefore make understanding and knowing God our first and most important priority. The reason so many supposedly lose their faith in college is because they never had one. They had their religion - they had their denominational status - they had their childhood habit of going to church with mommy and daddy. But . . . they never took Christ to themselves, repented of their sin - and entered into a life-altering relationship with God. They never received a love of the truth so as to be saved. As a result all they had was the trappings of Christianity - without a mind honed by the Word. Therefore when tried and tested - when faced with someone who forced them to defend their faith with truth - they had nothing with which to fight back. Assuming that Christianity had failed them - when all that had failed them was their false faith - they turned and fell into the pit of the wicked.
Oh saints, know your God! Know your Bible! Know that the faith once and for all handed to the saints in the Scriptures has withstood every attack of man for some 2000 years. Stand fast upon it - and stand strong with Him. When you do you will be tested, tried, and approved - and according to this passage - due to inherit good.