Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He breaks out against all sound judgment.
Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)
This verse was a good tonic for my soul today. As I read it the Lord seemed to apply it to the world of blogdom. Particularly the land of blogdom that I live and surf have my scorning.
The first line speaks to that man who stands apart from the congregation. Regarding this first line Keil & Delitzsch state it “denotes one who willingly (Judg 4:11), and, indeed, obstinately withdraws himself.” As the term is used in the Old Testament it always refers to a physical separation, though an emotional separation can also be involved (Prov. 16:28; 17:9). So the situation this Proverb applies directly to is one in which a person can be characterized as standing apart. While it is not advisable to absolutize proverbs, even the biblical ones, the wise son is advised that men do this because of their “own desire.”
Like jealousy, the term desire is both encouraged and condemned in the Old Testament. The easiest place to see this is Psalm 10 in which the wicked boast of a desire the LORD hates (10:3) while the LORD answers the desire of the humble heart (10:17). The connotation in Prov. 18:1 certainly seems negative. Hence, we cautiously may estimate a motivating factor in the actions of lone bloggers: to fulfill some sort of selfish desire. We are not told what their desire is. The desires are probably manifold. Nor are we advised to probe what the desire might be. As helpful as such an exercise might eventually prove to be.
The lone blogger has separated himself from the assembly of believers and seeks his own desires. Two actions the Scripture speaks quite clearly against. In a grave manner.
In so separating himself, the lone blogger breaks out against all sound judgment. BDB gives the verb a primary meaning of “expose, lay bare, disclose, make known.” As it is used in Proverbs it is to “break out in contention, strife.” I admit I have seen both aspects fulfilled. The lone blogger loves to make things known, air dirty laundry; and to do so in a contentious manner. I confess to joying in this blood sport. Of seeing victims thrashed like a chicken in the jaw-teeth of a lion. But all of this is against sound judgment.
However right the cause, however accurate the diagnosis, Jesus has only promised to confirm the judgment of the two or three gathered in his name. Whatever else the church may be, the church is also the pillar and ground of the truth. The one who isolates himself from the assembly has also isolated himself from the Scriptural security of judgment, of loosing and binding. It will not do to say there are no good churches in my area. If that were true, and if it mattered that much, you would move to an area where there was a “good” church. Or you would be an active participant in the attempt to plant one where you already are.
Please pray for me and my family. We are looking for a church to join and fellowship with. Pray that in these days I will not yield to the temptation of isolation. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”