Here is a great commentary on how a righteous man will live his life. It is also a good reminder for us who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus as to what we should hate and what we should avoid in life.
The righteous man hates falsehood. There it is as simply as we can possibly understand it. Want to live a righteous life? Then learn to hate what is false! But the natural question arises, "But what is false?"
This is where things get interesting for us in our post-modern society. Our world tells us that truth is in the eye of the beholder. A little more simply put - truth is whatever is true to you. You can follow this particular definition of truth right into the swamps of moral decay and confusion. This ultimately leads you to believe that truth is whatever YOU want it to be - until you are arrested or shot!
For this proverb to have any meaning at all, there has to be truth - ultimate truth. Once again, fortunately for those who turn to the revelation of God - there is absolute truth. The Word of God is truth. We can turn to it to get out of our moral morrass of our culture and onto solid ground once again. This may not be easy because moral truth requires moral choices - and the ability to designate things as moral or immoral. (I can hear the cries of judgmentlism and unfairness even as I write this.) God determines truth in His Word and calls us to a moral standard equal to that which He reveals. If we have problems with this - take it up with Him - or rebel against Him (which is usually the action of choice in our world today) Try a moral overthrow, but it will only lead to your life being crushed upon the rocks of God's moral laws.
This means that the righteous man lives according to God's standards of right and wrong. Contrary to popular opinion (popular among fallen men - God hasn't changed His mind on these issues - and never will) - God's moral views are not hard to grasp. He gave us 10 commandments and a large amount of other material that will help us form a moral worldview that is fairly easy to grasp. The righteous man therefore considers this to be truth - and lives by it. The problem for the righteous man is that in this fallen world people will militate against God's moral law. We have a world that embraces sexual immorality - both heterosexual and homosexual - that embraces abortion and moral ineptitude. We have a world that considers ethics to be completely situational in orientation. We have a world that says we must morph to our times and to the moral climate in which we live. God says differently. The righteous man hates the lies that distort God's clear moral teachings and ethical standards. He will hate them and stand with the truth of God no matter the cost.
The wicked man, though, stinks - and stinks in a shameful manner. That is what the Hebrew says very descriptively here. The shameful man acts disgustingly. The phrase here literally means that he creates a bad, stinky odor! We use the phrase, "That really stinks!" to refer to something we don't like. But for the wicked man - his lifestyle stinks to God - and frankly - to anyone who desires to please God. His lifestyle reeks of selfishness and godlessness. It reeks of self-interest and self-centeredness. The words used here spoke of roten food and the horrific odor that they gave off to others. An ungodly lifestyle stinks with this odor - but it is spiritual in nature. The wicked man embraces death in his actions. Man is dead spiritually until he comes to Christ. The wicked revel in that death - and smell like it as well.
The wicked man also acts shamefully. The word use here is "chapher" which means to be ashamed and disgraced. It speaks of one who is humiliated and embarassed. The key to graspoing this word is that it refers to how a person reacts in the presence of God. In the end - we won't be judged by a jury of our peers - for they might approve of how we've lived our lives. We will face judgment at the thron of God. He is the One who will determine our future. If you can imagine the sense of infinite shame that the wicked will know at the throne of God - then you are beginning to get the picture of what we speak of here. The wicked man gives no thought whatsoever to the fact that all of his actions will be judged by a holy God. He just plows on in his wicked course until he is interrupted by his death. Suddenly, all at once, he finds himself before a holy God whose law he has broken. Things that he considered just fine become the source of unb ounded shame and disgrace to him. He is overwhelmed by his guilt, humiliation and horror over what he thought was just fine. Suddenly what was acceptable to him is so no longer. He hangs his head in shame - but it is too late for that shame to do him any good whatever.
The righteous man hates lies - because it is lies that deceive men into living their lives without any thought to the judgment of God. But the righteous man knows of this judgment. If he is wise the righteous man knows that his only righteousness comes through the gift of God's grace in Jesus Christ. He receives the righteousness of Christ by faith - and now lives to honor and glorify God. That is why he also turns away from what God describes to him as sintky and shameful conduct. He does not measure all things by himself and his desires - but rather by what God reveals to him to be morally true and right.