How do you know whther you are dealing with someone who is criminal and crooked in his ways - or whether you are dealing with a man who is pure in his motives and ways? Here is an excellent question. I am sure that many a man who has been conned would love to know the answer to this question. That is what we will learn today as we open the book of Proverbs to verse 8 of chapter 21.
First we see the "guilty man." What Solomon is describing to us though is the way of this man - the roads he takes and the lifestyle that is developed as a result. This man is described to us as the guilty man. The word used here for this designation is the Hebrew word, "vazar." This word means a man who lacks innocence. He is guilty because his behavior and choices reject God's law and ways. In this regard he is a criminal - because his consistent choice is to break the law. Solomon tells us that such a man is "crooked." Crooked here is "haphak" which refers to someone who is very perverse and devious. This guy is constantly perverting this - being devious - and lacking in honesty. He is filled with a dishonesty that makes you wonder about his integrity.
Note this when trying to determine whether someone is godly or ungodly in their dealings. If you catch them making statements that are being twisted and fundamentally dishonest - most likely you are dealing with someone who is crooked and should be avoided at all costs. You are going to pay dearly if you continue to do business and allow this man into your life. The best thing you could do is cut and run.
The other man - the godly one - is pure. The word here means someone who is clean - like pure water or pure oil. This man is a godly man - and his godliness is verified by the honestly and integrity with which he speaks and acts. This man's conduct is described as "upright." This is the word "yashar" which means something that is straight, just, and right. This word usually refers to things in an ethical and emotional sense. These are men who are very concerned with being right in the eyes of the Lord. They want a godly integrity in their dealings with others. They do not want to deceive or to mislead.
Wisdom tells us to be mindful of the character of those with whom we deal in life. It is not enough that a good offer is on the table - or that someone is offering the best price. We need to know that a man is also placing good character on the table as well. Then we know whether we are dealing with a thief or not. See behind the offers and see into their lives or the "way" that they live. Do this and you will be much less likely to be caught in the schemes and the deception of the ungodly.