“Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of evildoers.”
~Proverbs 4:14 (NRSV).
Seesawing through the book of Proverbs we come again to another call to detect the presence of wickedness and run for dear life. Proverbs 4:10-19 is highly illustrative mainly to provide saliency of reason to go Wisdom’s way.
This section of ten proverbs has a positive (4) – negative (4) – positive (1) – negative (1) structure evident, much like we’d see in a courtroom, with the defence and the prosecution battling with each other during cross examination, or the use of all possible guns in the showdown that could take our lives. Nothing it seems is left to chance.
Temptation Comes ‘Facilitated’ via the Form of Deceptive People
People who are on the wrong track of life have a certain consistency regarding a lack of care about them; and if they care not for themselves, they’ll care even less—if that’s possible—for us or other innocent bystanders.
Wickedness and violence (verse 17) is the lot of those who we’re blessed to see a mile off as they’re coming our way, and then to studiously avoid even the barest confrontation. They want our blood. And we do not want to go there.
There is a certain dizzying unease for evil within some people that remains ever there, until it’s temporarily relieved, but it does quickly rise again. This is not unlike an addiction. The addict to wickedness is only on their ‘high’ for so long before the cantankerous agent of Satan returns.
The Path of the Righteous
The very best thing about Wisdom is the fact of its multiplicity. It may start as an ever sure though dim light at dawn, but it’s sure to shine brighter with each coming minute (verse 18).
It is an irrepressible voice, then, speaking louder and louder into our lives, as we give room to it, so it can enter and have room to grow within us.
Wisdom is health and long life (verses 10, 12) and every good way. The path of the righteous is straight yet narrow. Blessed are they who keep to it, for righteousness is not how we personally are characterised; it is rather the way we choose that characterises us.
There really is no better way of living the wisdom-life than foreseeing the bad, evil and wicked things from afar off and giving them a wide berth far in advance.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.