The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
Life is somewhat like a minefield – with injury or death only a step away. Most rush ignorantly through life without caution, discipline, or direction. They greedily pursue sinful ambitions, and they fall headlong into dysfunction, destruction, and death. You may mock this description as too dramatic or extreme, but read on and consider well.
Perfect men and women, who fear and obey God and live righteously, are led safely through life’s hazards and into heaven by their good and wise choices at life’s decision points. God inspired Solomon to write Proverbs to help you live righteously and acquire wisdom to direct your life. If you rebel against such help, you must love death (Pr 8:36).
Beginning life as helpless infants, men should beg for direction. They should recognize that filling their empty minds with ideas from others who began with empty minds is a formula for disaster. This insanity is verified every day in every place. Men chase folly and rebellion, and they find pain and trouble. Without regard for God or man, they push forward in lust for pleasure and dominance, but end up falling heavily by their own folly.
Who is the perfect? A man who fears God and keeps His commandments! Though he does so imperfectly, the Lord forgives his sins and counts him perfect (Gen 6:9; Job 1:1; Phil 3:15; Luk 1:6). Such a man has the guiding restraint in his life of righteous thinking, which keeps him from the self-destruction of the God-rejecting fools around him. His life improves more and more each day, much like the sun ascending to full noon (Pr 4:18).
How does the perfect man learn righteousness? He starts by fearing God, and then he adds the knowledge of the Bible and godly counselors. The fear of God is wisdom and light for life (Pr 1:7; 9:10; 10:27; 14:27; 19:23; Ps 112:1,3,9). The Bible is the manual for wise and righteous living (Pr 22:17-21; Ps 19:7-11; 119:105). Godly counselors are pastors and friends who also fear the Lord (Pr 11:14; 27:9; Jer 3:15; I Sam 23:16).
The wicked love the world’s sinful ideas on how to live, received from other fools and their own depraved hearts (Pr 12:15; 14:12; 16:25; 21:2). They wander in darkness and fall into traps (Pr 4:19; 13:15; 15:19; 22:5). This ignorant and rebellious approach to life brings both God’s judgment and the natural consequences of sin. Consider addiction, demotion, depression, disease, divorce, drunkenness, and death for a few starters. They do not learn from one generation to the next, as they perpetuate and expand their folly.
The righteous man marries a virtuous woman who fears the Lord, and he lives a tranquil married life. He cherishes and nourishes her like the Bible tells him, and he basks in love and pleasure. The wicked man marries an odious or whorish woman, and he lives in marital hell or is divorced with torment and trouble chasing him all his life. The perfect man is in a good way, and the wicked man falls by his own wickedness. He chose his wife based on looks and seduction, and he paid a terrible price on his way to the grave.
The righteous man consistently trains his children and oversees all their activities, especially their involvement with the opposite sex for possible marriage. Knowing his children’s happiness and his family tree depends on marrying high spiritually, he rejects any friendships for them not meeting God’s strict Bible criteria, no matter how much his children might think they are in love or mope around about his godly strategic decisions.
The world is getting worse, including most so-called Christians, and it will continue to get worse, regardless of what postmillennial dreamers imagine (II Tim 3:13; 4:3-4; Rev 20:7-9; Luke 18:8). The perfect man knows this, so he increasingly loves the more sure word of scripture and pays even closer heed to its instruction and warnings (II Pet 1:19-21). He laughs at the increasing folly of the world’s ideas and their terrible consequences.
How far will the righteousness of the perfect take him? All the way to heaven! No man enters heaven based on his own righteousness, but every righteous man knows heaven is his destination (Ps 112:6; Is 64:6; II Tim 4:7-8; Tit 3:5; Heb 11:4). The strait gate and narrow way that promises life now and in the next world is the road of righteousness, though only a few find it, for most men travel together toward destruction (Matt 7:13-14).