Solomon proceeds to reveal the two major areas of Preservation of one who has had Wisdom enter into his heart. For when Wisdom enters into the heart of a person:
1) “Knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul” (Proverbs 2:10b);
2) “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee” (Proverbs 2:11).
Therefore, the title of this devotion is The Road of Salvation, or The Road of Deliverance
A. Deliverance from the Way of the Evil Man (Proverbs 2:12-15)
“To deliver thee from the way of the evil man…” (Proverbs 2:12a)
Solomon describes the evil man in Proverbs 2:12b-15. He lists seven characteristics of the evil man:
1) “From the man that speaketh froward things” (Proverbs 2:12b)
Webster defines the word “froward” as “habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition.” The various synonyms are, “contrary, defiant, disobedient, headstrong, intractable, rebellious, unruly, untoward, wayward, willful.”
Therefore, Solomon defined the son’s first Preservation as a Deliverance from a rebellious man who is continually in opposition to authority.
Solomon told his son that he would be preserved from the temptation of rebellion to God and to man. There is a definite deliverance in both.
a) See Hebrews 10; when a man is in rebellion to God’s Word:
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29)
“For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30)
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)
God judges this type of rebellion.
b) Also see Genesis 9:5-6 and Romans 13:1-9; when man breaks human law (which has been set up by God), there is a punishment for the breaking of the law. Rebellion to authority is not of God, but of the flesh and the sin that dwells therein. Rebellion is from pride; and pride is from sin (Proverbs 14:12). Pride leads to destruction and death.
c) Solomon told his son that Wisdom, and obedience to Wisdom, would preserve him from the words of the rebellious.
2) “Who leave the paths of uprightness (or of righteousness)” (Proverbs 2:13a)
Wisdom, and obedience thereto, will preserve a man from leaving the Right Way – or the Path of Righteousness – which is the way of Christ; the way of Love, of Holiness, of Peace, and of Mercy.
Listening to and following Wisdom will preserve you from going the opposite way of love, holiness, peace, and mercy; from going the way of hate, of the lust of the flesh and eyes, and the pride of life; the way of anger, strife, and selfishness. This way of life will bring on war, strife, envy, covetousness, bitterness, murder, and death.
The way of the flesh is the way of death. The reward of unrighteousness is death. A Child of God cannot prosper in the ways of the flesh; it will destroy him. (See King Saul’s life in 1 Samuel 13 – 15; see Achan’s story in Joshua 6 – 7; etc.)
Solomon said: Son, Wisdom, and obedience thereto, will deliver you from destruction and death in this life because of the works of the flesh.
3) “To walk in the ways of darkness” (Proverbs 2:13b)
When you leave the Path of Uprightness, you leave the Path of Light, and start walking in the path of darkness, which leads to “the ways of darkness.” This is the result of leaving the Path of Uprightness; and it leads to “death in the pot” for those who do so.
4) “Who rejoice to do evil” (Proverbs 2:14a)
The evil man speaks rebellious things; he has left the Path of Uprightness; he walks in the ways of darkness; and now he rejoices to do evil.
However, this rejoicing is only temporary. Sin is only fun for a season; because sin’s design is to kill, steal, and destroy. Sin’s design is never to build up, or to restore, or to give life; but always to deceive and to destroy:
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (James 1:13)
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” (James 1:14)
“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15)
5) “And delight in the frowardness of the wicked” (Proverbs 2:14b)
See also these verses:
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:32)
“It is as sport to a fool to do mischief…” (Proverbs 10:23a)
A fool is one who despises (or hates) wisdom and instruction. Why?
a) Because he loves his sin and the short pleasure of sin, even though it only be for a season.
b) His heart is not Born from Above; for wisdom has not entered therein.
c) Plus, sinners love company. They love to have the crowd do as they do. Therefore, they have pleasure in the wickedness of others. “Misery loves company” – so says the old worldly sage. This is the wisdom of this evil world; not of God, but of the flesh.
6) “Whose ways are crooked” (Proverbs 2:15a)
His ways are crooked, because he is blind to the truth; and therefore he acts as all sinners act. They act crooked, or as the serpent slithers on the earth. Their ways are the way of sin, and not of Godliness. Their ways are the ways of rebellion to truth, contrary to the Light; for their deeds are evil and against God. Their ways are crooked because they are unholy and full of lies and hypocrisy. Their ways are the ways of their father, the devil; and of the flesh:
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)
“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:17)
7) “And they froward in their paths” (Proverbs 2:15)
Not only, as in verse 12b, do they speak froward (contrary, rebellious) things. But they also walk in the paths of rebellion. It is a way of life for them; morning, noon, and night. They are headstrong, walking in their own pride, and doing that which is right in their own eyes.
But see Proverbs 14:12b, “but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
However, Praise God; for when Wisdom entereth the heart, then comes obedience, and then comes Preservation of the Saints from “the way of the evil man.” (Amen and Amen!)