Proverbs 2:14-15

Proverbs 2:14-15 "Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:"

In the passage, Solomon described the man that he knew would pose his son great spiritual risk.  He assigned three specific characteristics to this man so as to help Rehoboam identify him.  The first characteristic of an evil man is that he will speak froward, or perverse things (verse 12).  He will have a dirty mouth, one given to evil words and wicked content.  The second characteristic of an evil man is that he will have left the paths of uprightness (verse 13).  At some point in his past, he will have had experience with the right way, making him an effective recruiter of those still on that way to join him in the ways of darkness.  The third and final characteristic of an evil man is that he will rejoice to do evil (verse 14).  Not only will he rejoice in his own evil but he will delight in the frowardness, or perversion of other evil souls.

All of humanity possesses evil.  Solomon himself said, “there is no man that sinneth not” (1 Kings 8:46).  There isn’t a soul on our planet who is void of evil.  Some exercise evil less than others but all possess evil.  Some embrace evil less than others but all possess evil.  Some resist evil more than others but all possess evil.  Some hate evil more than others but all possess evil.  Regardless of gender, age, color, DNA, intellect and experience, all of humanity possesses evil.  Why then are some people more dangerous to us than others?  Why do some people pose a greater threat to us than others?  Why is Solomon only warning his son of an “evil man” and not of “all men?”  The answer to these questions lies within the following statement: an evil man is different than a man who possesses evil.

There is a difference between a man who possesses evil and a man who prides himself in evil.
There is a difference between a man who possesses evil and a man who takes pleasure in evil.
There is a difference between a man who possesses evil and a man who praises evil.
There is a difference between a man who possesses evil and a man who promotes evil.

There is a colossal difference between the man who succumbs to evil and the man who celebrates evil.  There is a massive difference between the man who fights the evil within him and the man who follows the evil within him.  Again, evil resides within all of us but not all of us rejoice in that evil.  In this world, there are men who loathe the evil within them and then there are men who love the evil within them.  There are men who hate the evil residing in their flesh and then there are men who are happy with the evil residing in their soul.

The best of men cannot rid themselves of the evil within them, but they can resist it.  When they fail to do so, good men do not rejoice in their evil – they REPENT of it.  Paul the Apostle was one such good man who illustrated these sentiments.  To the Romans, he said these honest words: “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the EVIL which I WOULD NOT, that I DO. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me” (Romans 7:14-20).  All throughout the Bible, good men are recorded doing evil deeds.  Abraham had a child with a woman not named Sarah.  Jacob deceived his father and stole from his brother.  Moses killed a man he thought he should kill.  David slept with another man’s wife and then ordered that man’s death in order to cover up his sin.  Peter denied his Lord three times.  The Bible doesn’t describe these men as evil men because they didn’t rejoice in their evil deeds; instead, they repented of their evil deeds.  These and other good men in Scripture didn’t rejoice in their evil deeds nor did they delight in the evil deeds of others.  They denounced their own wickedness and they denounced the wicked ways of all others.

Possessing evil is not what makes us evil men and evil women; celebrating evil is what makes us evil men and evil women.  Possessing evil is not what makes us a threat to others; rejoicing in our evil is what makes us a threat to others.  Acknowledging evil in others is not what makes us a threat to those around us; delighting in the evil of others is what makes us a threat to those around us.  The person who is proud of their evil tendencies is an evil person.  The person who is proud of their activities is an evil person.  The person who likes watching others perform acts of wickedness is an evil person.  The person who celebrates the violence, perversion, corruption and darkness in the world is an evil person.  The person who enjoys hearing stories of fornication and infidelity is an evil person.  The person who gets a kick out of watching stories of unjust violence or seduction is an evil person.

If adorned with wisdom, Solomon’s son would understand the difference between an evil man and an ordinary man possessing evil.  Wisdom ascribes evil to the man who embraces his wrongdoing.  Wisdom warns us of the man who supports and celebrates the wrongdoing of other people.  Wisdom points out the difference between good men and evil men.  While she sees evil in both men, she helps us discern which man poses a serious threat to us based on their attitude toward evil.

As much as this passage is about the benefits of wisdom, it also confronts the reader on our attitude toward the evil within us. Do we loathe the evil within us OR do we love the evil within us?  Do we resist the evil within us OR do we rejoice in the evil within us?  All men possess evil but not all men take pride in their evil.  All men succumb to evil but not all men celebrate that evil.  This passage not only confronts our attitude toward the evil within us, but it also confronts our attitude toward the evil exercised by others around us.  Do we regret the evil exercised by others OR do we rejoice in that evil by laughing at dirty jokes and supporting dirty shows?  Do we sorrow over the evil in our society OR do we celebrate the evil in our society by funding perverse language and evil scenery?

Proverbs 10:23 “It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.”

Amos 5:14-15 “Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good...”

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