October 2, 2023
The Bible Edge
Practical Points to Ponder from Proverbs
Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
This is not the first use of the word “froward” in the Bible, but it is the first use of it in Proverbs. Seventeen times it is used in that book. Three times in today’s chapter. It’s a bad word. Well, no, the word is not bad but the actions or characteristics associated with the word are bad. There is just nothing good about being froward.
Froward is a very rich word and is used throughout the Bible. It paints a tremendous picture in just two syllables. It means, well the Bible tells us exactly what it means in the next three verses of Proverbs 2. 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:.
Did you notice that last phrase they froward in their paths? The froward person is froward in their paths, they practice forwardness wherever their feet take them. This seems to indicate a consistent life of actions that best put, all would do well to be delivered from them. By looking up the word froward other words like crooked, perverse, distorted, false, unsavory, and even morally torturous are used (Strongs).
Enough about what they are. The real question is what should a child of God do concerning them? One thing we should do is to be delivered from them. How? The answer is found in today’s verse. Discretion and understanding. Discretion is the ability to identify them, understanding is knowing the dangers they present.
There is nothing good about the results of forwardness. In fact just consider this sampling of that which the book of Proverbs says about the froward.
The froward is abomination to the Lord – 3:32
A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth – 6:12
…the froward mouth, do I hate. – 8:13
A froward man soweth strife… - 16:28
It may be that the only thing worse than having to endure a froward person is being one. To guard against that use Proverbs 4:24. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. The number one way to identify the froward is to listen to what they say and the way they say it. For as Jesus said, …for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matthew 12:34).
Hey, you want a real shocker, read I Peter 2:18… now that would be a good topic for another day. After all, who hasn’t had a froward boss from time to time?
William T. Howe, Ph.D.