There are some who try to walk simultaneously on two divergent paths. They will find that their hypocrisy and duplicity will betray them in the end. Like a man standing on both sides of a draw bridge that is opening, they will find that sooner or later they will either have to pick a side - or face falling into the water all at once. That is what our proverb is about today.
The crooked man is one who is trying to live two ways at one time. The Hebrew word for crooked means to walk twisted in two ways. The idea behind the word is that the two paths are opposite of each other. There is no way that this man can continue in this indefinitely. The paths themselves are mutually exclusive and will end badly. That end is given to us as a warning. He will "fall all at once." This is end for those who try to walk in hypocrisy - they will not slip up a litle - they will fall all at once. The best example of this is in the New Testament. The person who did it - Judas Iscariot.
Judas tried to live in two completely different worlds. We learn that he followed Jesus - and was even one who saw the power of God in Christ up close and personal. Yet he also wanted to be in power - and he loved money. He would steal from their money box as the treasurer - and also was angry when the woman with the valuable vial of oil poured it on Jesus rather than sold it for a small fortune. He wanted money - evident by the fact that in the end he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. But that money would not assuage his guilty conscience. Judas was an example of a man who fell "all at once." Unable to handle the guilt for betraying Jesus to crucifixion, he eventually went out and hung himself. He truly fell quickly and permanently. All hypocrites can know that this end looms before them. They can try to escape all they want - but the fact is either by an exposure here and now or by the judgment in the end - they are going to fall - and fall badly.
The one who walks "blamelessly" is the one who will be delivered. This is an encouragement for all men to live a godly life. They reject the lies and deception of those who play games with their relationship with God. By this - and by the grace of God they are delivered from the destruction of sin itself. But this proverb goes even deeper - and presents to us the gospel. Those of us who desire to live for The Lord give it our best shot - but in the end we will not be "blameless" before The Lord. We unfortunately will sin - and that takes us out of the category of the blameless. But there is One who lived His entire time on the earth in a blameless state - never breaking God's Law - never sinning once. That One is Jesus Christ - and He is the One who was delivered first - to death - and then in the resurrection - from death. His deliverance to death was for our sakes - so that He could pay the price for our sin and rebellion required by God's holiness and justice. His deliverance from death in the resurrection reveals to us that God accepted the payment of His blood for our sins. Now, here is the tremendous news of the gospel. Through His blamelessness and His death, burial, and resurrection we can now be granted the same deliverance from the wrath of God against sin.
The wise man knows that any attempt he makes on his own to get to God will be dogged by his own sinful duplicity. I cannot tell you how often I tried to clean myself up from my sin and bad character and choices - only to find that I could never finish the job I started. What was the most disappointing was the fact that often I simply chose sin and rebellion to God. I did so just because it felt good - or because my flesh wanted something, and I didn't want to "just say no." The fact is I couldn't "just say no." And a wise man realizes he can't either. We all wind up hypocrites who try it both ways only to find we fall all at once when our sinful selfishness rises up and demands its own way. The comfort to us who are wise enough to see our fallen conditin is that there is One who walked blamelessly before God. His choice was to always do what pleased His Father. Jesus is that One - and He will graciously grant us His deliverance from sin by grace. Thus we are rescued from the twisted way we walk by our very nature. But that rescue is never self-earned. It is received as we receive the grace of God in Jesus Christ proclaimed to us in the gospel.