Brian D. Dykstra, (Teacher at Hope PR Christian School, Walker, MI)
*This article was originally written as a devotional for his fellow teachers at Hope CS. It is posted here because of its broader value for our website readers.
Proverbs 2:12-15: “To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths ...”
In verses 12-19 Solomon continues to instruct us from what sinful ways true wisdom will preserve us. In verses 12-15, we told from what type of man wisdom will preserve us.
God’s wisdom will prevent us from joining the wicked in his customary way of life. Evil living has become this man’s habit. This way has been walked so often by him and by others similar in heart that it can be easily distinguished from the surrounding terrain. The man who walks it can be recognized by his speech. His speech is described as being froward, proud and disobedient. He does not care to follow God’s good law and defies Him to do anything about it. Either he feels there will be no consequences for his sin, or he does not care what those consequences might be.
In verse 13, the subject becomes plural. This wicked man now has companions. They have left the paths of uprightness. They appear to have known the way that was right and just before God, but they forsook that way. Perhaps they were brought up in homes which had God-fearing parents, but the way of sin was far more appealing to them. The works of darkness became more appealing to the flesh. There no longer was any benefit for avoiding the path of the wicked.
This temptation has not diminished. We are, to varying degrees, social creatures. It can become difficult to walk the godly way when that way appears to be so solitary and ridiculed. The wicked seem to have plenty of companionship and good times. They are not sitting around with long faces as they contemplate their ultimate fate. They look happy. They have good times with their friends. They laugh and live care free. That their way is one of darkness can be hard for us to see at times. Lot sought some fellowship with Sodom and Gomorrah. Jacob’s daughter Dinah kept company with the people of Canaan. There is a real temptation for our young people to do what it takes to be socially acceptable.
The wicked also rejoice to do evil. That can appear shocking to us. How often don’t we feel sorrow and shame because our thoughts and desires are sinful! We see the darkness of our nature and are driven to our knees to ask forgiveness. Yet the wicked not only think such things, they actually do them. Then, when they do these things, they show no effect of guilt or shame. They are happy! They live care free, and their only concern in life is how to satisfy their next sinful desire.
Young people might wonder about what point there is to the godly life. Why do we have to deal with all that guilt? Why go through life with a long face when the world can provide such happiness? Only godly wisdom can reveal to us the end of rejoicing to do evil.
These evil men also delight in the frowardness of the wicked. The word translated here as froward is sometimes translated “perverse.” That certainly speaks of our time. Hollywood and our popular culture like to push the envelope of what is portrayed in entertainment or what is thought of as being funny. Entertainers who make the most money are often those who dare to say and do what others have not dared to do as yet. While there are some in our nation who bemoan the condition of our culture, their voices are easily drowned out by the many others insisting on their First Amendment rights. We can see how much our society delights in what is perverse by how profitable such enterprises are.
The ways of the wicked are crooked and they are proud of it. They will say that what is good is evil and that which is evil is good. They have convinced themselves that God will do neither good nor evil to them. They are as carnal Israel as they grew ripe for the judgment of God. The wicked believe their way is pleasant because its very crookedness prevents them from seeing the certain destruction which lies at it end.
We must warn students about the way of the evil man. It is appealing to our flesh. May God be pleased to use the instruction of this school and the homes represented here to cause His wisdom to enter the hearts of His people. Only He can preserve us in the straight way which leads to fellowship with Him in Jesus Christ.