“To deliver thee from the way of the evil [man], from the man that speaketh froward things;”
Discretion that Delivers
How many of you have ever heard the phrase, “discretion is the better part of valor?” Well, whether you have or not, the phrase comes from the words of a character in one of Shakespeare’s plays.
Actually, it was a cowardly knight, Falstaff, who faked his own death in order escaped being killed. He said, “The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have sav’d my life.” – Henry the IV
As opposed to acting with courage and honor, Falstaff justified his cowardice by essentially saying, “Look, I assessed the situation and determined that doing the honorable thing would have left me a dead hero. My discretion has saved my life and allowed me to fight another day.” In reality, Falstaff disgraced the ideas of both valor and discretion. He was just a coward and a sneak.
True discretion, however, can prove a real life saver. Discretion can deliver.
From Deadly Ways
Look again at verses 11 and 12, “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: to deliver thee from the way of the evil man…”
Do you realize that evil people typically walk the same road of life? And were you aware that these evil people would love for you to walk with them, even if the road they’re traveling leads to destruction? Believe it or not, the world is full of them. You need God’s wisdom to help you determine the right road, the Way.
We will see later that there is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end of the way is death (Prov 16:25). Wise discernment will help you determine whether or not the road you’re being called to travel is healthy, or deadly.
From Hungry Wolves
In Acts chapter twenty, the apostle Paul called upon the elders of the church from Ephesus. He informed them he was going to be leaving, and upon his leaving they should remember to watch out for wolves. What kind of wolves? The kind in sheep’s clothing.
Paul said, “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch…”(Acts 20:29-31a). Believe it or not, there are some slick talkers out there who want to devour you like lamb roast.
Be discerning. Be careful of whom you listen to. Wise discernment, the kind that comes from God, will help you determine whether or not their words are pure, or “perverse.”
Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. – John 6:67-68 NKJV
(originally published 4/11/12)
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