What Does Evil Look Like?
As I mentioned when we began our look at the book of Proverbs, there are many contrasts found in these verses. Over and over again something or someone godly is contrasted with something or someone that is ungodly. Chapter 2 continues this arrangement. The remaining verses of chapter 2 describe what evil looks like and then closes with a contrast between wisdom and evil. Let’s read the rest of the chapter today:
From the man who speaks perverse things, 13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who rejoice in doing evil, And delight in the perversity of the wicked; 15 Whose ways are crooked, And who are devious in their paths; 16 To deliver you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words, 17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth, And forgets the covenant of her God. 18 For her house leads down to death, And her paths to the dead; 19 None who go to her return, Nor do they regain the paths of life— 20 So you may walk in the way of goodness, And keep to the paths of righteousness. 21 For the upright will dwell in the land, And the blameless will remain in it; 22 But the wicked will be cut off from the earth, And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.
The description of evil here is not very flattering. The man who rejects wisdom and follows a path of evil speaks perverse things, rejoices and delights in doing evil and being perverse. His ways are crooked and devious. Not only does the man who follows evil do these things but there is actually an enjoyment in it. This is human nature. This is an accurate description of the flesh, our nature apart from Jesus Christ. The chapter then goes on to describe the danger of sexual sin, about which Proverbs has much to say later on. Then the last two verses contrast the upright and the wicked. The upright will dwell and remain in the land (a reference to the promised land I believe), but the wicked and unfaithful will be uprooted from it. These words of Solomon came true a few hundred years after he wrote them, as the nation of Israel was removed, by God, from the land that He had given them because of their sin.
What is our response to these words? I think our response is one of “healthy fear” of the ways of evil and a turn toward God and toward wisdom.