Wild Oats
Proverbs 22:8
He that sows iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

"He that soweth iniquity shall reap calamity" (R.V.). The fashion of never calling a spade a spade is known as "euphemism." According to it death is paying the debt of nature, stealing is misappropriation, lying is prevarication. A trace of it is found in the expression, "sowing one's wild oats." The phrase is intended to comprehend pretty much all the vices of young manhood. We are all sowing something or other. Some sow the fine wheat of kindly lives and generous deeds. Others go heedlessly sowing the wind. It would be well, all around, if there were less of sentimentalism and more of sound common sense with respect to the follies of our fast young men. Never were two greater mistakes made than are embodied in these two excuses, "Boys will be boys," and "He'll live it down; I'm sure he'll live it down." Paul directs our attention to the two levels of life — the low level of the flesh; the higher level of the spirit, where are men who live not for themselves only, but for the good of others and the glory of God. For all who are building character and making their lives tell for truth and righteousness, there are three safeguards — conscience, the sense of honour, and faith. There is no hope that the vicious young man will live his evil down. Sin works a terrible damage. It rots one's self-respect; it pollutes the memory. It indisposes the soul for better things. It enslaves in the fetters of habit. It ruins the body. It destroys the soul. But no matter what the mistakes of our past lives have been, if we repent the Lord is ready to forgive.

(D. J. Burrell, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

WEB: He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.

The Husbandry and Harvest. of the Wicked
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