Proverbs 2:9-10, “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh forward things.”
The Bible teaches us, by the example of Jesus, that we should be willing to suffer the attacks of others. “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (Hebrews 12:3, I Peter 2:23.) Because Jesus lived a life that never retaliated against those who persecuted him, His words in Matthew 5:39 had great authority: “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. ”
Our defense as a Christian is not against physical attacks, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12.) We have a scriptural self-defense against spiritual attacks. That defense is godly wisdom, and it is available to us if we follow the instructions laid out in Proverbs 2:9-10. If we allow God’s wisdom to penetrate our heart, and if God’s knowledge becomes pleasant unto our soul, discretion will preserve us from the attacks of evil men.
Discretion is the ability to make good decisions with caution. Someone without discretion will only think of the next move in life, while someone with discretion will anticipate the next series of moves. The Hebrew word for discretion gives the idea of laying out a plan, and this word was used of Joseph’s plan of survival for the seven years of famine. Wisdom will help us defend ourselves against four aspects of the attack of the evil man.
The way of the evil man must be guarded against. Before you make a decision to get closely acquainted with someone, consider the direction of their life. If they are involved in activities that are questionable, do not participate. Verse 12 promises “to deliver thee from the way of the evil man” if we allow the knowledge of God to be pleasant to us.
The words of the evil man must be recognized. Froward language is an indicator of an evil man, and must be identified as such. Be discreet, and discern between the proper use and abuse of words. Allow God’s words to become precious to you and to occupy your thoughts, and you will be better able to defend yourself against harmful words.
The walk of the evil man must be avoided. People who leave the right path in life to travel down a path of darkness must be avoided at all costs. They are more dangerous than someone who has never known the way of righteousness. They often have a disdain for godly things, and they will seek to pollute your view as well. Avoid the pathway of the evil man, by opening your heart to God’s wisdom. Follow His leadings down the right path, and say “yes” every time He directs.
The wickedness of the evil man must be put away. There is no limit to the evil capabilities of the wicked heart or how far the backslidden in heart will go. Verse 14 describes those who “delight in the forwardness of the wicked.” Have a disgust for wickedness and a “delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22.)
The world seeks to create distaste and a distance between us and wisdom, but when you open our heart to wisdom, it will become pleasant and sweet to the taste. Scriptural self-defense is provided for us, and is needed for protection against the way, the words, the walk, and the wickedness of the evil man. Are you guarded? Has God’s wisdom penetrated your heart? Do you delight in knowing God?