Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 4:19
"The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble"
Solomon gives brilliant insight into what happens when people choose the shortcut called wickedness. They lose the ability to connect the dots. They no longer can admit or see that things are connected. The fact that they have a mistress should not affect their marriage. In fact, in their understanding, it should help their marriage. The fact that they are stealing from their company should not impact whether they get promoted because nobody knows or cares about the things they are stealing. The fact that they are consumed with themselves and are immoral has nothing to do with the fact that their children don't feel close to them or that their children are experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
This is the Hebrew word aphelah, which means darkness, gloominess. Solomon is accurately pointing out that wickedness is a place of little understanding. It is a relational, spiritual, and mental darkness. Wickedness is full of impulsiveness. What do I want next? I don't care what direction it is in as long as I can satisfy my desires. It is a terrible thing to not see the bigger picture of what is happening in and around your life. It is tragic to not realize how things connect. The lousy job you have is because you did not get the training and education you needed because you dropped out to party and sleep in. The lousy marriage you have is because all you think about is what your spouse can do for you instead of what you can do for your spouse as well as the fact that any time you are not pleased, you have an affair with the first available person. The lousy house you live in is because you can't get a good job because you are so good at lying that it is easier to lie than to do the work, so you usually get fired. The wicked never make these kinds of connections. They blame their spouse, their boss, the company, God, the politicians, etc. It is never their own fault.
This is the Hebrew word kashal, which means to stumble. It is translated by words or phrases like: bring you down, downfall, fail, overthrown. The picture that Solomon is painting is of people in a pitch-black room trying to move around. They just keep bumping into things that they cannot see and then falling over. They chase a little light over in the corner of the room because it is pretty. It doesn't give any light into the room, but you can see it; therefore, you trip over everything between you and the light. The world of wickedness is like this. You begin chasing one desire after another and cursing the world God made for getting in your way. The hallways and furniture of life are not designed to allow you to pursue your desires without limit.
It is like all of the furniture is arranged for going north or south but the light is in the west, so you bump into every chair, sofa, coffee table, and lampstand because you must get to the light rather than understanding that all the hallways run north and south. All the hallways of the world you live in keep wanting you to pursue a different goal, but you don't want to realize that; you want what you want and so you keep stumbling and tripping and falling.
One day God will turn on the light of judgment day and you will realize that you have been a fool.