He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.
Your character and conduct are everything. They determine if God will bless or curse you, if you will succeed in life or not, or if others will discover you are a fool. A successful life lived confidently and securely is far better than being exposed for sins.
A man or woman that walks uprightly is one with great character and conduct – always doing what is right as defined by God in the Bible. This is no cheap talk – this is walking the walk. Such a person’s conduct matches God’s standard of right and good. The promised reward is His blessing, life success, and no fear of hypocrisy being discovered.
A person with low character perverts his ways – choosing to do what he thinks is right, without total submission to God and His word. He often covers his cheating choices with pious pretensions, but God will curse him, he will fail, and his hypocrisy will be exposed.
Doing things strictly by God’s word, which is the only right way to do anything, makes for a sure life of blessing and success. Perverting things, or choosing to do them even slightly different than what the Bible says, leads to trouble and humiliation. Guaranteed!
What is your character? Read carefully. It is the traits that define or describe you, what you are other than biological factors, the code of conduct that rules your actions, the discipline or defaults for what you do, and the lifestyle that makes up your reputation.
A consistent life of godliness will keep a man confident, and God’s favor will keep him from stumbling. But rejecting instruction and wisdom, and choosing his own way, will lead a man to pain and suffering, and his perverse rebellion will be revealed to others.
The sister proverb declares, “Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once” (Pr 28:18). The slight variation in wording helps fill out the full sense of the warning. The upright man will be blessed and safe from trouble in his life, but the perverse man will definitely and suddenly fall into trouble.
The proverb you are considering adds that secret hypocrisy and hidden rebellion will be exposed and known. The man who chose to do things his way will be ridiculed by others, for they will clearly see that he cheated and compromised godly wisdom. Though he flattered himself that he had better insight, he will later hate his foolish choice (Ps 36:2).
Zophar bluntly reminded Job about hypocrites by saying, “Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds; Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?” (Job 20:4-7). Judas and Ananias perverted the way of the Lord, and their judgments are well known, the former hung himself by God’s judgment, and the latter was killed directly by God (Matt 27:3-5; Acts 1:18; 5:1-11).
A sincere and faithful man, who walks righteously before God and men, will be secure in his conscience, in the blessings of God on his life, and in safety from trouble (Pr 28:1; Is 33:15-16). Reader, this is the good life. This describes a great man. Where are you tempted to compromise? Where are you playing with folly or sin in your life? Repent!
This man is single minded with no fear of detection, for he has never practiced deceit or hypocrisy. He neither fears devils or wicked men, for God is his helper and heaven his home. He will not fear the future, for his heart and steps are fixed in God’s word. He knows that God is with him, regardless of what men may think. He knows that difficulties for other men will not defeat or destroy him. He is confident and secure.
But the man who chooses sin and perverts the way of righteousness will fall for sure, and all men will know his secret and selfish pride and perversity. To disobey is truly to be perverse, for it is corruption of, and rebellion against, God’s wisdom. Perversity is God’s word for disobedience, and you should respect the seriousness of disobeying (Job 33:27).
Sin has consequences, and the hypocrite cannot hide his foolish heart and private life for long. He shall fall at once, and good men will see his perverse practices being the cause of the fall (Pr 26:24-26). Noble saints will even pray for his exposure (Ps 144:7-8,11).
Though such a man thinks he has hid his sin, the Lord sees every motive of his heart and every hidden act. If he makes it to the grave with his lying pretense in place, it will show up in his family and/or in the Day of Judgment (Eccl 12:14; Luke 12:1-5; I Tim 5:24).
Upright men are commended, but perverse men will be despised (Pr 12:8). Upright men fear the Lord, but perverse men despise him by their actions, no matter what they say (Pr 14:2). It is better to be a poor upright man than to be a rich perverse man (Pr 28:6).
The man who walks obediently with the Lord Jesus Christ is the surest of them all (Heb 13:5-6). He is content and confident, and the Lord will be with him when all men desert him (II Tim 4:16-18). Paul was not ashamed of his despised life, for he knew Whom he had believed (II Tim 1:12). Reader, are you walking surely with the Lord this day?