Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:
The world is crazy! Its thinking is twisted. It is profanely wrong. When men reject God and the Bible, they invent perverse ways to live, and they love their insanity. If you try to correct them, they will hate you for it. Solomon’s warning is to save you from them.
Worldly men mockingly call Christians straight. They are right! Christians call worldly men crooked, and they are right. Sin has twisted the heart and mind of man, so that worldly men rush headlong into crooked ways and down froward paths. Only the proper fear of God will save a man from the crookedness and frowardness of the world.
The long sentence here explains the saving virtues of wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding (Pr 2:10-17). These gifts from God will protect you from the evil and froward man (Pr 2:12), “whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths.” King Solomon is your personal counselor against the dysfunctional lifestyles of worldly men.
Crooked ways are lifestyles deviating from what is right; they are dishonest, wrong, and perverse. Froward paths are lifestyles that are unreasonable, unruly, corrupt, and evil. Crooked and froward have very similar meanings. They mean wrong and perverse (Pr 3:32; 4:24; 6:12; 8:8; 11:20; 17:20; 21:8; Deut 32:5,20; Ps 18:26; 101:4; 125:5; Is 59:8).
Give God the glory! When men reject the obvious display of God’s existence in the natural creation, and they are not thankful for His kindness, He darkens their minds and turns them over to reprobate thinking, to do inconvenient things (Rom 1:18-32; Eph 4:17-19). You should read His mocking and taunting ridicule of idolaters in Isaiah 44:9-20.
How inconvenient is the lifestyle He gives them? Very crooked and froward! Very wrong and perverse! They declare they are wise, just weeks after learning not to mess on themselves, yet they make images of bugs to worship, rather than the Creator (Rom 1:22-23). Consider one of their most crooked ways and froward paths. God confuses them to dishonor each other’s bodies by vile perversions with the same sex (Rom 1:24-27).
Then He gives them over to more thoughts and acts to dishonor their race (Rom 1:28-32). Fornication, covetousness, malice, envy, murder, deceit, whispering, backbiting, rebellious children, covenantbreaking, and implacability are a few of their ways and paths. They are “without understanding” and “without natural affection.” Not only do they do such things, they also take pleasure in being with and watching others do them.
Christian reader, if the truth were told, as you well know, your depraved heart and mind from Adam is as crooked and froward as any. Even Paul said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing” (Rom 7:18). But there is a new man within, created in righteousness and true holiness, which you are to put on daily (Eph 4:24).
By God’s grace, you are not to conform to the world, but be transformed from it (Rom 12:1-2). God has called you to a different lifestyle. Paul called on saints to be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:15). Christian reader, are you as different from the world as you should be? There should not be any resemblance.
How can you be different? By wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding (Pr 2:10-11)! Where do you find such precious things? In God’s word! You esteem God’s precepts right on all subjects, and you hate every false way (Ps 119:128). There is no shortcut, and there is no cheating. The only wisdom on earth is in the Bible (Is 8:20).
There was only one Man, Whose ways were perfectly straight, and His paths perfectly right. There was nothing crooked or froward in Him. Paul said Jesus was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb 7:26). What did this world do to Him? They mocked and tortured Him, before hanging Him by nails on a cross. They would do the same thing again, if they had another chance, and they want the same for His followers.
But the next time they see Him, He will not be coming to die on the cross for His elect. He will be coming to ferociously destroy His enemies. There will be no quarter or mercy given in that day, as judgment is poured out on the crooked and froward. They will call in vain to their Mother Earth, even “the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev 6:16-17).
But the Lord Jesus Christ will come with a very different purpose and result for those who believe in Him. Consider how Paul warns the wicked and then comforts Christians about that great day that is rapidly approaching. Here are his words:
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” (II Thess 1:7-10).