Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
What's talked about in this proverb is a frequent lesson presented throughout the book. The Lord will protect those who walk with integrity and create havoc for those whose ways are wicked.
One outworking of this is if you are guilty of something, then you have reason to "look over your shoulder," and you will likely trip and fall because of this distraction. When you are guilty of something, you may feel someone is after you and you are more vigilant than usual about your overall surroundings, perhaps so much so that you don"t see the item or bump in the road right in front of you and you trip over it. You are so involved in taking in the big picture that you don't see the small obstacle right under your nose, and you fall.
Another outworking of this proverb is that the wicked (here called the "crooked") plot involved schemes to trip others up and pass the blame to them. But these schemes may be so intricate and varied (assuming multiple victims) that the crooked person is tripped up by failing to remember the details of each scheme, and he is himself confused and trapped in his own folly.
This is a lesson for us all in terms of handling our guilt. Instead of being vigilant to avoid consequences or plotting so the blame falls on others, we should simply confess our sins and guilt to the One whose blood is effectual in removing our sin and guilt, no matter how heinous (I John 1:9). Jesus Christ can cover our sins and restore us so we are not looking over our shoulders all the time. His forgiveness helps us to walk with integrity.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Pat Canavan. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org