Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 10:29
"The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the upright, but ruin to the workers of iniquity"
the way of the Lord
The word way is the Hebrew word derek which means path or road or way. The idea is that God has a path to live on in this life. It is bound by certain kinds of behavior. Outside of this path of the Lord are types of behavior that are ruinous to your life but appear to be shortcuts to your goals. To get off of God's pathway is to pursue intimacy through sexual unfaithfulness; to pursue money through lying, cheating, and/or stealing; to pursue power through deception, witchcraft, anger, or violence; to pursue prestige through cursing, swearing, and lying; to pursue fulfillment through lust, greed, and pride. All of these appear as viable choices as we go through life, but only the way of the Lord – God's right way of living – keeps us from the destruction that comes from these shortcuts. With God's way, we reach our goals and also have the blessing of God.
This is the Hebrew word maoz which means safe place or refuge or means of safety. Solomon's father David – when fleeing from Saul – found strongholds in the caves of Engedi where Saul's men could not find him and his men. They were safe there even though they were being hunted. It is this sense that Solomon is talking about – the stronghold here. When the world is against you and people are assailing you, it is the path of the Lord that will act as a refuge and stronghold to protect you. When you live the world's way, you offer places to attack you. But when you live God's way, He protects you. Living for God and not for yourself offers a layer of protection that is important.
Are there areas in your life right now where you lie, where you are greedy, where you are sexually unfaithful, where you are violently angry, where you scheme to take another's position or property? It is in these areas that you are exposed. Repent and stop. Change your ways. Flee into the stronghold that is the Lord's way of living.
This is the Hebrew word mehitta which means destruction, ruin, terror. Solomon is saying to those who have made their way in life through lying, stealing, cheating, anger, and scheming that it is terrifying to live in a place where that is not the way one gets ahead. It is a terror to live in a righteous place.
workers of iniquity
This is the Hebrew word awen which means trouble, idolatry, wickedness, iniquity, etc. The idea of this word is that which lives outside of God's moral boundaries given in the Ten Commandments. The workers of iniquity are those who get by in life through these nefarious means. They only know swearing, rebellion, anger, violence, lust, stealing, lying, and scheming. They would not know how to act if they could not do these things.
Make sure that you run into the stronghold of the Lord which is His way of life. It is like hiding in plain sight surrounded by the grace of God for the life of God.