5 ¶ Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
The Biblical definition of what it means to be froward will be useful to review. By way of searching for the definition of a word within a verse see Deuteronomy 32:20;
“And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.”
Notice that they are without faith in God. By the method of looking at contrasting phrases they are wicked;
Psalm 101:4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
These are just examples of how froward is defined within the Bible and there are many more. The froward person is a faithless, wicked person though and that’s a good start for understanding this verse. So, there are some painful things, snares and thorns, in the way or manner of living and attitude of the froward. However, the person who keeps or guards and protects his soul will avoid those very things.
How can you be sure of guarding your soul? There is only one way and that is to trust Christ as your Saviour. The pitfalls of a rebellious life against God, in worship of Self, are many and Christ is the only answer, to surrender and submit yourself to your Creator. You must trust and believe Him.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
John 6:28 ¶ Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Then immediately you must get into God’s words in His Bible because that’s how God speaks to His people. You can’t trust your conscience because it can be seared and twisted by sin.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
You can’t overstate the importance of God’s word.
Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
He has preserved it for us and we have it in the King James Bible, the Authorized Version.
Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
And it is forever settled in heaven.
Psalm 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Now, as a Christian you have an unholy trinity standing against your growth and progress. They are thorns and snares that you must avoid if you are to keep or guard your soul, which is no longer in danger of hellfire but is in danger of being kept from serving Christ, being a witness for Him, and having a heart full of praise and joy. They are the world, your flesh, and the Devil.
The Devil is a spiritual being, one of the animal like creatures that surround and covered the throne, created by God, inferior to Him, but of more power and authority than men. He chose to go over to the Darkness through pride and envy. He is also called Lucifer and Satan.
Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
The world and its systems and people are under his control.
2Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
He accuses us before God constantly.
Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
He has the power of death over humankind and Christ came to destroy his works.
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
1John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
We know the Devil’s methods of operation. It’s no secret. Unforgiveness, pride, envy, and jealousy are in his scope of things. In regard to forgiving a repentant person;
2 Corinthians 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Because so many people are taken in by him.
2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
But, we have only to resist him by submitting ourselves to God. God will provide a way out from being snared by Satan.
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Another thorn and snare to avoid is the world. The world usually refers to the people that live on the earth.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
The three things that Satan tempted Eve with and the three things that John warns us about are the same three things of that the world system offers you. You must resist these three things.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
1John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The things the world worships and encourages; corporate violence through war, celebrities and status, an obsession with physical beauty, inordinate obsession with things sexual, music that appeals to the flesh and deadens the spirit, wealth, power, and fame among others are wicked and not of God.
The last snare is the flesh, your flesh. Your flesh wants only its own satisfaction, even to the point of pursuing pleasure and comfort until it destroys itself. The flesh cannot please God.
Romans 7:14 ¶ For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Some will eat until food kills them. Some will use the God given gift of sexual pleasure the wrong way and destroy their lives and sometimes harm the lives of innocent children with that. Some will take drugs and consume alcohol until their bodies and lives are a twisted mess.
The froward; the wicked, the unsaved, and even the carnal, deceived Christian struggles, trapped and bleeding in thorns and snares. The saved person who guards his or her soul will stay as far from those snares and thorns as they can get and cling to God in Christ. As you pray and speak to Him and God speaks to you through His word; read and heard, on the written page and preached, the allure that the world, your flesh, and the devil has over you will diminish until Christ calls you out or takes you home, be assured.