The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless,
but destruction to evildoers.
Consider this proverb from different levels. The writer most likely is thinking of the “way of the Lord” as following God’s law. For the keeper of the law, such a way is a stronghold, a fortress against the wicked who seek the righteous’ destruction, and from the efforts of the worldly to lead the righteous astray. Surely, the one who reads, meditates upon, and obeys the law finds strength and protection.
The evildoer, however, is brought to ruin by the law. It exposes his sin and magnifies his weakness. The law entraps the wicked, so that, as noted in many other proverbs, his life comes to an end suddenly and violently.
For the Christian, who is found blameless in Christ, the law is also a stronghold, for it reveals the life that is pleasing to God. It shows the path of obedience that brings fruitfulness and peace. The law presents the life that withstands the afflictions and temptations of the world. For the person who rejects Christ, the law reveals his selfish, wicked heart.
But moving to a higher level, Jesus makes clear that he is the way of the Lord. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The law is a stronghold for those able to keep it; Jesus is the stronghold for all who will turn to him, confessing their inability to keep the law. Only in Christ can we apply the identification of “blameless.” It is Christ alone who has fulfilled the law; it is to Christ, which the law is intended to drive us. The “Way of the Lord” is our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who delivers us and protects us.
For the evildoers who will not repent and turn to Christ as their stronghold, Christ is the revealer of their wicked hearts and will be their judge. On the last day when he returns in his glory, Christ will be the stronghold of the blameless who follow him, protecting them from punishment and delivering them into glory. Yet, he will be the judge and the avenger against the wicked.
As you face the challenges and temptations of the world today, pray to your Stronghold to keep you safe and to empower you to obey God’s law.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2022 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org