A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct!
(George Lawson, "A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs" 1821)
"A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct." Proverbs 10:23
"Fools mock at sin." Proverbs 14:9
"Folly delights a man who is destitute of wisdom — but a man of understanding walks uprightly." Proverbs 15:21
"The mouth of the wicked gulps down evil!" Proverbs 19:28
"Their souls delight in their abominations." Isaiah 66:3
"They love to indulge in evil pleasures." 2 Peter 2:13
"The wicked freely strut about, when what is vile is honored among men." Psalm 12:8
It is a sign of prodigious folly for a man to take pleasure in sin, which . . .
gives mortal wounds to the soul,
provokes the wrath of the Almighty God, and
could not be expiated, but in the groans and blood of a Redeemer.
And yet all wicked men take pleasure in sin. It is with the utmost propriety, that Solomon gives the name of fool to the wicked — and allows the character of wisdom to none but the godly.
The godly are not wise in every instance of their conduct, for weakness and temptation too often betray them into sin — yet they hate sin, and long to be rid of their indwelling corruption.
This is the difference between the disposition of godly and wicked men, with relation to sin. Wicked men may for many reasons abstain from the outward commission of sin — but godly men hate sin, and everything that leads to it.
Sin is not only practiced by the wicked — but it is loved by them. Folly is their joy, and therefore they sin even without a temptation. It is their food and drink to sin, and they roll iniquity under their tongue as if it were a sweet morsel. They do not hate those sins that are condemned by God's Word — but the Word that condemns them. They dislike salvation itself — because it is a deliverance from sin.
But the wise man's employment is to walk uprightly. He hates the sin that dwells in him, and loathes himself for his impurities. He takes pleasure in holiness, and loves the law of God, because it testifies against his iniquities. He joins earnestly with the Psalmist in that prayer, "O that my ways were directed to keep your statutes!" And instead of being satisfied with such a degree of holiness as may amount to the lowest evidence of true grace — he will not count himself completely happy, until his grace is completed in the glory of the heavenly state!