Proverbs in 365 Devotions


Proverbs 14:22 Do they not go astray who devise evil? Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.

Double Negatives

Robin Aylor

The #1 definition of the word “devise” on my dictionary says: “plan or invent  (a complex procedure, system, or mechanism)  by careful thought”.

So it seems that for one to devise evil… or good for that matter it takes intentional thought… and work.

This may not be that important but I like double negatives. And though there’s not one in the verse answering the question requires one for it to be answered correctly. Notice this passage doesn’t ask whether people go astray who devise evil. If it did the answer would be oh yes they surly do go astray; but instead it ask: Do they not go astray who devise evil? So we must answer No… so… they do not, not go astray… or to put it anther way they do go astray. Double negatives are interesting. For example:

* The two negatives in “I can’t get no satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones actually indicate they do get satisfaction since “can’t and “no” cancel one another out.
* The same goes for Pink Floyd’s “We don’t need no education”.  They are saying we definitely do need education!  

Back to the text; consider the irony of going astray. Those who devise evil for others stray off the path of good themselves into a life of evil. Thats where going astray leads.

On the other hand those who thoughtfully plan good get steady love and faithfulness and guess what… those are the very things they devised for others.

But the thing is we are all sinners… and for one to devise good… for godly goodness to come out of a person it has to be placed in their heart first.

2nd Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

And for one to give steadfast love they must have received it.

1st John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.