“The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who watches his way preserves his life.”
The story is all too common. A fatal car accident takes the lives of all the inhabitants. Authorities surmise that the driver missed the sign about danger ahead or failed to navigate the turn. Frequently the story ends with a word of caution: Be careful! Be on the alert!
Sadly, many do not know that there is a spiritual highway as well. Each of us are cruising down that highway. If we are in Christ, then we are the “upright” that Solomon mentions here. The upright are those who have determined to live according to God’s divine standards. Their goal is to serve Him and to be obedient to His word. Their decision to put on Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:27) meant that they are now on the path of light (1 John 1:7). Yet it would be a serious (read: fatal) mistake to think their lives are now on cruise control. There are warning signs that there are evil men ahead. The upright notice the sign. They are “watching their way” and make sure they stay on the highway that steers clear of these evil men. (Note: “evil” men are those who have no regard for God or His word. They live for self, doing all that which is abhorrent to the holy God). Consider the powerful lessons from this verse:
First, our lives are a journey. We are on the “highway” of life. Every highway has a destination. Which highway are you on? Hopefully it is on the highway “of the upright.” You get to choose which highway. Choose wisely!
Second, there are dangers ahead. Certainly, we are not naïve to the fact that every road has its dangers. Tis the case with the highway of life, too. There are evil men ahead and we must depart from the road that would lead us to them (Psalm 1:1). What kind of evil dangers are on the road ahead? They might be found in the movies we choose to watch or the music we listen to. They could be in sinful activities or being with sinful people. The spiritual clearly see the sign: “danger! Avoid!"
Third, the spiritual pay attention. Peter told the first century Christians to “be on the alert!” (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus also taught that we should “be on the alert” (Matthew 24:42). In this proverb the upright person “watches his way.” He knows there are potential dangers ahead and is looking for them. He will not be caught by surprise or will be unprepared. Paul would say that the upright have prepared themselves for the dangers ahead by equipping themselves with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). Paul issued a warning in 1 Corinthians 15:33: “Do not be deceived: evil companions corrupt good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). How many have failed to heed that warning?
Fourth, paying attention saves lives. Solomon said that the upright, who steers clear of evil and watches where he is going “preserves his life.” Judgment Day is coming and we will give an account for the road we chose (John 5:28-29; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15). If we have lived upright lives and avoided evil, we will hear God’s welcome into His presence (Matthew 25:34).
The fool will not heed the wisdom found in this proverb. They “despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). Let us be wise and consider carefully the spiritual road we travel. Is that road bringing us to where we want to go?