The whole of Chapter 14 (¹) is a contrast between that which is righteous, upright or full of life and that which is evil, wicked or dead in sin.
Not to long ago we published a post on our Sunday Sermon Series entitled Exalt a Nation, in which Proverbs 14:34 was highlighted. While that one focused on the nation as a whole today’s devotional looks at individuals.
Like all Proverbs this one is a phrase expressing a basic truth which may be applied to common situations. It is key to keep that in mind when we read and interpret them.
There is a way – Your chosen path, either one subject the the King of Kings or ruled by self.
which seemeth right unto a man, – It seems harmless after all your are a good person and you are not harming anyone or breaking laws.
No matter how “good” you are, you are self delusional if you really think your goodness measures up to God.
but the end thereof – All of mankind has but one end to their travels through life and that is physical death; God is calling, for your repentance and showing you the correct way.
are the ways of death – Here Solomon is speaking of the cruelest of deaths, that which is eternal. The one we condemn ourselves to eternal punishment and wrath for our self indulgent views and refusal to get on the correct way.
There are many reasons for man to be deceived, but none greater than he hardens his heart to the Gospel message feeling safe and secure that his way is the best way.
We have here an account of the way and end of a great many self-deluded souls. 1. Their way is seemingly fair: It seems right to themselves; they please themselves with a fancy that they are as they should be, that their opinions and practices are good, and such as will bear them out. The way of ignorance and carelessness, the way of worldliness and earthly-mindedness, the way of sensuality and flesh-pleasing, seem right to those that walk in them, much more the way of hypocrisy in religion, external performances, partial reformations, and blind zeal; this they imagine will bring them to heaven; they flatter themselves in their own eyes that all will be well at last. 2. Their end is really fearful, and the more so for their mistake: It is the ways of death, eternal death; their iniquity will certainly be their ruin, and they will perish with a lie in their right hand. Self-deceivers will prove in the end self-destroyers
There are some evil actions or courses which men may think to be lawful and good, either through gross and affected ignorance, or through partiality or self-flattery, or through want of necessary diligence in examining them by the rule of God’s will or word; all which are culpable causes of the mistake, and therefore do not excuse the error: but the event showeth that they were sinful and destructive.
So today’s question is simple, WHAT PATH ARE YOU ON? The path God has chose for the wise and humble or your own arrogant and foolish?