So I was reading Proverbs 1 a couple weeks ago and was ready to leave when I heard God say, “Gang mentality is nothing new.” I frowned and said “What?” but rushed back to read it over again, and this is what I saw. I saw what He meant when He said “Gang mentality is nothing new.” I also saw that since God knew youth would encounter this, He put out a long-standing warning not to fall for the okedoke.
Here’s how we’d be able to understand what’s being said in today’s language.
Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
TRANSLATION: They’re going to say to you man, come on over and smoke some weed, trees, purple, loud. We gon’ have a good time. (But, son, don’t fall for that.)
Proverbs 1:11 If they say come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privately for the innocent without cause.
TRANSLATION: We gon’ let you in the car so you can get in on a sweet plan, man. We picked out a spot where we can hide out and people won’t be expecting this. We’re gonna go where we know there’s some foot traffic, and this gon’ be easy!
Proverbs 1:12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave and whole as those that go down into the pit.
TRANSLATION: We’ll rob and rape, but make sure they don’t see our faces. If things get out of hand, we’ll just take them out. Better them than us. They can just dance on the blacktop or go to hell. We got biscuits, but watch out for the po-po.
Proverbs 1:13 We shall find all precious substance. We shall fill our houses with spoil.
TRANSLATION: This gon’ be a quick hit and a little bit of work, and we’ll be living large. We’ll split the bling, but if you try to leave, there’s only one way out. Ain’t no getting out of the gang.
Proverbs 1:14 Cast in your lot among us; let us all have one purse.
TRANSLATION: We a family. Even if you doing all day, you still part of us. We take care of our own and we protect our territory. Nobody in Grandma’s House snitches on anybody else! So hold your mud. Be prepared to live and die right here!
You’ll notice that before Proverbs described the gang mentality and their game plan, it warned young men against falling into a life of violence. It said not to go that way and not to even listen to the enticing speech. Why is it enticing? Because the quick and dirty plan shows that everything was thought out in order to get some goods quickly and without putting a lot of work into it. It encourages a young man to believe that because he’s young, clever and quick on his feet that other people’s property is there for the taking.
But there’s a backdraft to the gang mentality. A backdraft happens in a fire or arson situation when a particular space has been deprived of oxygen. When you reintroduce oxygen to that space, fire will burst out suddenly and violently, especially if there are gases present in that room. Proverbs 1:18 says they lay wait for their OWN blood; they lurk privately for their OWN lives. To make it plain, the Amplified says “When these men set a trap for others, they are laying in wait for their OWN blood. They set an ambush for their own lives.”
Deprive your brain of good sense, start believing you can get away with crime, but oxygen will be reintroduced to you, and then BACKDRAFT! Wise up, because gang mentality is nothing new, babe. There’s an ugly payoff.