The Way of the Upright

Whoever Walks in Uprightness
Proverbs 14:2, 5, 25 ESV

“Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord,
but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.”

To fear the Lord is to honor, respect, reverence, worship and obey him. It is to walk in uprightness. Amen! It is to do what is right and acceptable in his eyes. It is to cleanse ourselves of every defilement. It is to make it our goal to please him, to be holy. And it is to offer to God acceptable worship, which is to give our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him.

In context, it is obviously to walk in truth, as well, and to not be devious. It is to not lie, to not bear false witness, and to not accuse others falsely (deliberately and knowingly). But it is to tell the truth as we know it in order to save lives, not to destroy lives through deceit and trickery.

And how critical is that to our salvation? His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. Anyone who fears God and does what is right (in his eyes) is acceptable to him. We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. And we who fear him are rewarded with eternal life.

So, we are to be truth tellers, not liars and deceivers, not destroying lives, but saving them. We are to conduct our lives in holiness, in purity, and in uprightness, in the fear of the Lord. We are to forsake our sinful practices, and we are to walk in obedience to our Lord, giving him honor and praise.

[Lu. 1:50; Ac. 10:34-35; 2 Co. 5:6-11; 2 Co. 7:1; Phil. 2:12-13; Heb. 12:28-29; Rev. 11:18; 14:7; 15:4; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 8:1-17]

The Prudent discerns His Way
Proverbs 14:6-8 ESV

“A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
but the folly of fools is deceiving.”

Who is the scoffer? He is one who derides, who mocks, makes fun of, and has contempt (hatred) for others who are not like him, who are different, who don’t believe what he believes. This isn’t just about disagreeing, or having a difference of opinion, but this is about attempts to destroy another who is different than oneself or to destroy the gospel of our salvation.

Though he seeks wisdom, it will not be given to him, for he fights against it with all his might. For, wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and he refuses to walk in the fear of God because he thinks he knows better. He refuses to believe the whole counsel of God, and he prefers to believe in cherry picking Scriptures which, out of context, tell him what his itching ears desire.

James talked about this in his writing (in the New Testament). He said that if we seek wisdom from God, but we doubt God, that we are double-minded, and so we won’t receive anything from the Lord. If we can’t trust God to tell us the truth, so we rely on our own wisdom, instead, we will never be wise.

We, as well, should not rely on the wisdom of the foolish, especially on those who make it their practice to lie and to deceive others. It doesn’t mean we go around accusing people of lying, without knowledge, but that we do not put our faith and trust in their wisdom. We are cautious and discerning.

The Tent of the Upright
Proverbs 14:10-12 ESV

“The heart knows its own bitterness,
and no stranger shares its joy.
The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.”

No other person truly knows what goes on in another person’s heart. Only God truly knows. We can test the spirits, and we can look at the fruits of a person’s life, and we can know what is obvious, what is outward, what is seen and clear, but we can’t really know another’s true heart.

Those who are not strangers, who are close to another, such as a spouse, if they have known each other a long time, and if that spouse or that close friend or family member is at all observant of habits and attitudes, he or she may be able to discern to some extent what is going on inside the other person, but not with complete accuracy.

But our Lord knows us inside and out, better than we know ourselves, because he is the one who made us, and he is the one to complete us. So, we can turn to him in prayer when we are going through difficult times or when fears are trying to have their way with us, and we can rest in the Lord and rely on his strength to make it through every trial.

Our Lord knows our hearts, and he knows who are his, but there are also obvious and outward signs which also indicate who truly belong to the Lord and who don’t. For, if we are conducting our lives in deliberate and habitual sinful practices, we are not walking in the fear of the Lord, and Scripture says we will die in our sins. We won’t inherit eternal life with God.

But if we die with Christ to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, and we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and we are submitting our lives to the will of God, and we are walking in obedience to his ways, we have eternal life.

Those Who Devise Good
Proverbs 14:15-16, 22 ESV

“The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and careless.
Do they not go astray who devise evil?
Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.”

It is not good to be naïve and overly trusting of everything we hear, for there are many liars and deceivers out there, even within the gatherings of the church, whose goal it is to deceive us and to trap us and to trip us up so that we don’t follow our Lord in surrender to his will for our lives.

It doesn’t mean we go around accusing everyone of lying, without knowledge, but that we exercise godly wisdom and discernment, and we show caution. We don’t believe everything people tell us, no matter who they are, but we test everything we hear coming from friends, family, preachers, government heads, the news media, and social media, too.

For, there are many people out there who are those who devise evil, who make evil their practice, whose goal it is to deceive and to lead people astray. Some of them do this because they want to continue living in their sins and they don’t want others to know what they are doing, so they not only plot evil deeds, but they also plot coverups for their evil deeds.

Others do this willfully in order to lead others astray, to get them to not follow the Lord in obedience, or to try to accuse them in some way or to attempt to trip them up with their words. For, they work for Satan, and their goal is to get people to not believe the gospel and to not obey Christ.

But for us who devise good, even though we might be falsely accused of doing evil (as they did to Jesus), we will meet steadfast love and faithfulness. These will be the hallmarks of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. We will follow our Lord in wholehearted devotion to him, we will walk in his ways, and we will abide by his truth. For we love him!

Only Hope

By Jonathan Foreman

I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all

So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope

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Whoever Walks in Uprightness
Proverbs 14:2, 5, 25 ESV

3 thoughts on “The Way of the Upright

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