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Are You Froward Or Upright?
"Nothing is more offensive to God than hypocrisy and double-dealing..." - Matthew Henry
The Scriptures speak strongly about frowardness.
Psalm 18:26 says - "...and with the froward Thou wilt shew Thyself froward."
Proverbs 4:24 says - "Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee..."
Proverbs 6:12-14 says - "A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord."
Proverbs 8:13 says - "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."
Proverbs 10:31 says - "...but the froward tongue shall be cut out."
Proverbs 11:20 says - "They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD..."
If you are "froward" with God, then God will be "froward" with you. What does this mean? Is it a good thing?
Absolutely not! What this Scripture is saying is that those who are "froward" - who pervert or twist the words of others from their true meaning...who are deceitful in their conduct or not straightforward in their dealings...who take advantage of circumstances to impose on others... who are sour, unyielding, harsh, or unkind...and who resist God and walk contrary to Him - these are the ones with whom God contends. In other words, because they walk contrary to Him, He, in turn, walks contrary to them.
The Scripture commands us to - "Put away from thee a froward mouth..." What it is directing us to do here is to remove all lies, dishonesty, and wickedness from our speech - to put away all sorts of sinful words...words of ill nature...or those words that have the appearance of evil.
The Bible calls the man that has a "froward mouth" - "a naughty person" or "a wicked man." His speech is crafty and not to be trusted. Everything that he says is with design. His words flow from a heart that is filled with all manner of wickedness...things repugnant to the will and law of God...perverse things...and malice. God calls this "froward mouth" which speaks perverse things contrary to the truth - "evil" - and considers it as something which He hates. As an unproductive plant which brings forth evil fruit, it will be "cut out."
Lastly, the Bible outrightly states that those who are of "a froward heart" are "abomination to the LORD." God considers all those who are opposed to simplicity and purity...have a perverted disposition and principles contrary to His law...speak lies in hypocrisy...say one thing and mean another...and do the vilest things under the pretense of religion - as "an abomination."
The total opposite of a "froward" man speaking "froward" things with a "froward mouth" flowing from a "froward heart" is the "upright in the way."
Proverbs 11:20 says - "They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are His delight." Notice that it calls the "froward" an "abomination to the LORD," but the "upright in the way" are "His delight." One God detests, while the other is one in whom He takes great pleasure and is well pleased.
We know who are the "froward," but who are the "upright"?
They are the ones who walk by faith in the paths of truth and holiness...are undefiled in the way...are sincere and "Israelites indeed"(John 1:47)...and walk according to the truth of the Gospel. Their prayer is "His delight" as Proverbs 15:8 states - "...but the prayer of the upright is His delight." God delights in doing good to those whose hearts are right with Him and are honest and sincere. The common road or habitual course that they take always leads them to depart from evil - "The highway of the upright is to depart from evil..."(Proverbs 16:17). It is no wonder that they constantly enjoy His gracious and powerful Presence...sit securely under His Protection...and are admitted to His favor and most intimate fellowship. This is confirmed in Psalm 140:13 which says - "...the upright shall dwell in Thy presence." Psalm 11:7 relates the same thought from God's perspective - "For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; His countenance doth behold the upright." What this is saying is that He looks with pleasure, favor, and affection upon...takes delight in...defends...and saves all those in whom He sees His own image. Isn't that a beautiful thought?
Think for a minute about what is being said here.
You are either in one of two categories. Or you may find yourself leaning toward one or the other.
You are either deceitful, harsh, unyielding, resistant toward God and walking contrary to Him, or else you are honest, sincere, resistant toward all sin and rebellion, and walking in obedience to Him.
In closing, we leave you with Proverbs 28:10 which shows the outcome of the "froward" and the "upright" - "Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession." The "froward" through his craftiness and wicked lifestyle draws people away from following Jesus. The Scripture tells us that there is a "pit" of his own doing prepared for him. On the other hand, the "upright" - those who are unreservedly and honestly devoted to God and to that which is good - inherit good things - the best things. One gets a pit, and the other gets a good inheritance. Do you see the implications of "Hell" or "Heaven" here as their final destinies?
It is so important that every Christian (as well as every sinner and backslider) reading this message stops and takes the time to examine his or her lifestyle to know in which direction he is headed. How can you know? Simply by whether or not you are "froward" or "upright" as delineated by the Scriptures.
You are either deceitful and crafty or honest and sincere in your relationship with God and others.
You are either walking in rebellion or obedience to His Word.
You are either drawing people toward Jesus through your lifestyle or turning them away from Him.
Are you "froward" or "upright"?
That will determine whether or not you end up in a "pit" or a "palace" - so to speak.
Which will it be?
May God Bless His Word.