I live in a city where there are two ways to get around. The first is to get around the city by trying to navigate the maze of city streets that are in it. When you do this you also have the problem of constantly running into traffic lights and stop signs. What is far superior to this way of getting around town is what we call the bypass. It is a highway that goes around the city and provides a very quick way of covering large distances without having the problems of the normal city streets. The upright also have a highway that blesses them and makes sure that they have a clear path in walking with God. That is what today's proverb addresses and helps us to see.
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil. The best way to walk in God's will is to depart from evil. This is a pretty simple thing to understand. When we see evil - we go the other way. The difficulty in our society is determining what is and what is not evil. Our society would call good evil and evil good. They do not value God's Word and God's ways. They also in most cases even believe in truth - except as the individual views it. Therefore a lifestyle where we go to the Word of God to learn what truth is - is not the common thing. Most folks call what Christians call righteousness - judging - and intolerance. God calls it knowing the difference between good and evil.
God calls us to depart from evil. Because I don't want to have anyone misunderstand what God says here - I will fully define the word "depart." It is the Hebrew word, "sur" and it means to turn away, to go away, to desert, quit, keep far away. It is also translated to stop, to take away, to remove, and to turn aside from something. So when we realize what this word means - it is very easy to see that when God calls something evil - our response to it is to stay away from it - and if we are already doing it - to depart and go away from it - keeping as far away as possible.
The second thing we are told here is that the one who "watches his way preserves his life." Watching our lives means being very careful and cautious. Times when I have sinned against God are usually times when I have become careless about watching an area of my life. Sin is insidious in how it will seek to gain a foothold - and we must watch if we are going to avoid it and walk godly. The one who does watch is not being ultra-victorian as some would chide - rather he is doing what is necessary to preserve his life. This can be viewed two ways - first that he is preserving his life itself - because sin will bring death in many circumstances. Second, though is preserving the life of God that is given to us as we live by the Spirit of God who is in us. Either way - the man who watches what he says and does is wise to do it.
There is a highway that is before us every day - it is marked as well as the highways upon which we drive our cars. This highway is clearly marked out for us in the Word of God. It is revealed to us as the highway of the upright - but also as the way of righteousness and the way of the Lord. The wise man is the one who daily consults with the map (the Word) and who chooses to follow it.