The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
Humanity is perverse! Just look around! Just listen! God created man upright and good, but man has corrupted God’s way by many inventions (Gen 1:31; 6:12; Eccl 7:29).
Since Adam and Eve’s rebellion in Eden, man has a depraved heart that always rejects what is good and right (Ps 14:1-3). He chooses things that are froward and strange. Only those born again, with a pure heart given by God, love and do what is right (Eph 4:24).
Not all men are froward and strange, as proven by the second clause, which describes a category of men called “the pure.” The contrast between the two clauses implies that it is impure and wicked men who are perverse and corrupt. But let it be known: if it were not for God regenerating His elect with a new heart, all men would be froward and strange.
“Froward” is an older English word meaning perverse, corrupt, evil, unreasonable, or unruly. It describes the wicked motives and actions of a natural man apart from the grace of God, which Paul explained in detail (Rom 1:18-32; 3:9-18). “Strange” describes the abnormal, unexplainable, and surprising contrariness of sinful man’s choices and actions.
Men are born just like a wild ass’s colt (Job 11:12). They go astray and lie from birth (Ps 58:3). Foolishness is bound in their hearts from youth (Pr 22:15). They remain foolish and deceived, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another (Titus 3:3). They watch wise men and fools die, but they presume they will live forever (Ps 49:10-13).
Many think this is the wisest generation ever! They say, “Mankind is naturally and basically good, and getting better every year.” But Solomon presupposed their arrogant thoughts and wrote, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pr 14:12; 16:25). Men are still froward and strange. In fact, these corrupt thinkers ridicule those who follow God’s ways as being strange (I Pet 4:1-4)!
Is humanity perverse? Cain killed his brother for being good, and murder has not stopped since. Tamar seduced her father-in-law, and Amnon raped his sister; incest continues today. Athaliah killed all the royal seed, and political killings were perfected in the last century. Judas, Pilate, Herod, and Jews betrayed Jesus; and judges and rulers still do it.
But men today outdo their ancestors in perversity. They abort babies by suction wand, when conception used to be celebrated. They subsidize debt and penalize savings by tax laws. They condemn apartheid while keeping reservations. They call Picasso an artist and rap music. They condemn polygamy but endorse sodomy. They search for “Roots” but claim monkeys as ancestors. They outlaw child discipline but approve “Friday the 13th.”
The 20th century was likely the bloodiest century in world history. Millions of innocents were slaughtered, not counting war deaths or bad government policies. The world eulogizes Hitler’s six million but ignores Stalin’s thirty million and Mao’s thirty million. The way of man is froward and strange! And he is not getting better or brighter!
What about America in 2012? Is the way of man froward and strange in the land of the free and the home of the brave? Do the words “one nation under God” in their pledge to the flag guarantee that Americans are pure and their work is right? Does “In God we trust” on their money make them more virtuous than other nations and their citizens?
Same-sex marriages are in! But two women in bed are not a marriage, and two men with a baby are not a family. How could man get any more perverse? The way of America is froward and strange. Brute beasts know better. Opposite-sex bestiality makes more sense. Yet opposite-sex divorces are in, and parents abort children, and children divorce parents.
Teens, university students, and actresses are interviewed for political opinions, though being three of the most ignorant segments of any society! Actors and athletes earn more than most CEOs! Separation of church and state is defined as outlawing the Bible, while promoting the religious, anti-God hallucinations of Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, and others. Liberal arts is called an education, but Biblical wisdom is rejected in all fields.
In a few decades they switched from a coming ice age to global warming. They deny the existence of God while suggesting life on Mars. PETA will do anything to protect animal nuisances while PPFA and NOW murder human babies. They outlaw spanking while promoting violent movies and video games. They scandalize leaders committing adultery while most movies and music glamorize it. They are indeed froward and strange.
Churches, the house of God, have been corrupted into nightclubs to pamper and entertain. The Bible is rewritten every few months and sold like a dime-store novel. The way of man is froward and strange. He has no light (Is 8:20). He had none to begin with (Eph 2:1-3), and now God has rewired him for rejecting truth (Rom 1:18-27; II Thess 2:9-12).
The pure are those born again by the Holy Spirit and given a new nature that is truly holy and righteous (John 3:6; Eph 4:24). These are the sons of God by predestinated adoption and re-creation of their souls (Eph 1:5; 2:10; John 1:12-13). They choose to keep the commandments of God, regardless of cost or persecution (Rev 6:9; 12:17; 14:12; 20:4). They are perfectly different and perpetually antagonistic to natural men (Pr 29:27).
What is your case? Is your conduct and reputation froward and strange, or is it pure and right? Do you measure by sociologists’ definitions, or the precious word of God and inspired wisdom? Does your life reflect truth in a dark place (Phil 2:14-16)? Reject the arrogance and perversity of this generation and humble yourself before God. He will soon expose this great difference in men (Mal 3:13-18; Matt 25:31-46; II Thess 1:3-10).