8 ¶ The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
“The way of man”, spoken of here, would be the way of the natural man as compared to the man regenerated and reborn by the action of the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit, in applying this Old Testament verse to the Christian.
1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The natural man without Christ has no capacity to either please or obey God because he does not have the Spirit of God dwelling in Him. He is a child of disobedience and a child of wrath, with God’s abiding anger resting on him waiting for the day of judgment.
Ephesisans 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
The way of this man is froward, which we have discussed many times previously. It is wicked, evil, and sinful; filled with violence, sexual sin, and even hatred against Christ and anyone who follows Him. It is foreign to the man of God, strange. But, the work of the one purified by God is right, not because of any righteousness that he has in himself but because the pure man has the Spirit of the perfect Lord Jesus Christ in him; the man-God who was without sin and perfectly obedient. With regard to righteousness God the Father, the soul of God, looks at the born again Christian and sees God the Son, the visible image of the invisible God, perfect and complete.
A great lesson for us is how the Holy Spirit views the heroes of the Old Testament in the New Testament. For example, Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was a terrible compromiser who went to live with his family in a wicked city named Sodom. He even got drunk and had intercourse with his daughters, being so drunk he didn’t know what he was doing. And yet, God looks at these characters through the lens of Christ and this Lot whom God chose to save from the destruction of Sodom is referred to differently than we would expect.
2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 ¶ And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
In fact, even Samson, and they don’t come any more carnal and addicted to the flesh’s pleasures than him, although his awful behavior is laid out bare in the Old Testament, in the New, like the Christian who is born again, gets a new look listed as a great man of faith along with Gideon, David, and Samuel.
Hebrews 11:32 ¶ And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
So, as the Holy Spirit tells us in Proverbs 21:4 that even the plowing of the wicked is sin, so does He tell us here that the work of the pure is right. No one is pure without Christ’s Spirit, which is God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, dwelling in him.