The Path of the Perverse
Proverbs 22:5
Thorns and snares are in the way of the fraudulent: he that does keep his soul shall be far from them.

By "the froward" we understand the spiritually perverse - those that will go on their own way, deaf to the commandments and the entreaties of their heavenly Father.


1. One of guilt. These froward souls who choose their own way, declining that to which God calls them, are most seriously guilty. Whether their disobedience be due to careless inattention or whether to deliberate recusancy, it is disloyal, ungrateful, presumptuous, offensive in a high degree. It is no wonder that it proves to be:

2. One of suffering. No wonder that "thorns" are in that way, thorns that pierce and pain - grievous troubles, poverty, sickness, loneliness, fear, remorse, forsakenness of God. Departure from God leads down to tangled places, causes men to be lost in thorny wildernesses where suffering abounds. It is also:

3. One of danger. It is a place of "snares." Without the "lamp unto the feet and the light unto the path," how should the traveller in "this dark world of sin" do otherwise than fall? Outside the service of Christ, and apart from his guidance, when the heart is uncontrolled from above, there is the greatest danger of the spirit giving way to one evil after another, of yielding to that multitude of strong temptations which attend the traveller's steps.

II. THE WAY OF THE WISE. There is no necessity for man finding the path of his life a path full of thorns and snares. It is true that no prudence or wisdom will prove an absolute guard therefrom; but if a man will "keep his soul" as he may keep it, he will be preserved in his integrity, he will even "be far" from the worst evils which overtake the froward and perverse. To "keep our soul" is to:

1. Understand its inestimable worth; to understand that it far transcends in value any property we may hold, or any position we may reach, or any prizes or pleasures we may snatch.

2. Realize that God claims it as his own; that to the Father of spirits, to the Saviour of souls, our hearts and lives belong; that to him they should he willingly and heartily surrendered, that they may be placed in his strong and holy keeping.

3. Guard it by the help of Divine wisdom; apply those precious truths which are in the pages of God's Word to its necessity; study the life and form the friendship of that One who himself is the Wisdom of God, walking with whom along the path of life we shall be safe from the wiles of the wicked one. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

WEB: Thorns and snares are in the path of the wicked: whoever guards his soul stays from them.

Humility, with Fear
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