They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
There’s that word again. Froward. What does Froward mean? According to what I have read, “froward” means a few things. Some of the descriptions I have read include things like, profane, perverse, someone who refuses to do what is right or expected of them, and someone who refuses to be corrected or put in subjection to moral law and order. Disobedient. In the habit of wickedness and refusing change.
An example of this comes to mind.
In Acts 7, Stephen gave a remarkable testimony of Jesus Christ as the Messiah of the Jews. Stephen called the people, “stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears” because they “always resist the Holy Ghost.” He also compared the people to their “fathers” who in times past rejected the ways of God and embraced wickedness and sin.
If you have the time, I recommend reading Acts 7 because this is a good example of someone speaking against those who are of a “froward” heart. This is also a good example of what can happen when we speak out against the wicked. They become your enemy.
Sometimes they just toss you out socially. Sometimes they slander you. Sometimes they try to destroy your livelihood or otherwise become vindictive. Sometimes they gather against you and kill you because when you say things that prick their heart, they would rather silence you at all costs than face their true, wicked selves. Such is the nature of the “froward.”
Yet, despite the people standing against Stephen and stoning him, Stephen remained true to the Lord. He boldly declared witnessing the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then, with his dying breaths, he asked that the Lord forgive those who stoned him to death.
Among those was Saul, later Paul—one of the most prominent apostles of Jesus Christ and composer of much of the New Testament.
Stephen is a good example of someone who was upright. I’m certain that Jesus delights in Stephen.
We can learn a lot from this example. I consider myself. I am stricken by the “froward” every day in some capacity. Not least of these is the “froward” nature that still exists in me. I still refuse to be corrected and walk in the right ways—especially when it comes to being as Stephen—who spoke the truth boldly and died for it, and more than that, forgave those who participated in his death.
Some participated directly. Others watched and did nothing. Some, like Saul (later Paul), stood there and held the coats of those who stoned Stephen.
Sometimes we suffer at the hands of people directly—people who out of a “froward” heart refuse to be corrected, to learn what is right, and to change their destructive ways that eat at your life and the lives of others.
Sometimes we suffer at the hands of people who stand by and watch it happen, for reasons one can only guess. Maybe they want you out of the way too. Maybe they do not fully understand the situation. Maybe they are afraid. Or maybe they know it is the Lord’s will, and they rejoice with you in the suffering because they know God will be glorified in the end and you will be raised.
In any case, we should consider what it means to be “froward” and how we can seek Jesus to soften our hearts, cause us to hear Him, and give us a new nature as He promised. We can also seek Him to strengthen us against the “froward,” so that we can stand by the truth, suffer for it if necessary, and remain faithful to Jesus along the way knowing that among the “froward” who harm us, there could be some future Paul’s who will be made emboldened in their service because of the things we endured in faith.
PREVIOUS STUDY: Considering Proverbs 11:19 – “As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.”
The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus Christ. Follow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future posts. Visit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.