But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (19) The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.Proverbs 4:18-19
In these verses the path of the just and the way of the wicked are contrasted in two distinct ways.
First, they are contrasted luminously. The path of the just is compared to a shining light. The way of the wicked compared to the dark. There is an obvious contrast here. Light and darkness has long been a metaphor for good and evil. Good will triumph over evil. This leads us to the second way they are contrasted.
Second they are contrast directionally. Notice that the shining light of the just is progressively shining more and more “unto the perfect day”. You can imagine in your mind the light coming over the horizon at daybreak before the sun, and then the sun coming over that same horizon until it is at full luminosity. This is the picture of the just path, the believer that has chosen to follow God. The justified person who acts wisely will continue toward a full and luminous state.
The evil person does not “know…at what they stumble.” The person that continues down the wicked path does not fully comprehend what will happen to them or why they fall. They are like a person groping in the dark, not being able to understand what they tripped over, bumped into and caused them pain.
Remember that the father in this passage is making the case for his son to choose the way of wisdom and the righteous path. The case he is making in this text is the superiority of the light to the dark. The wise, righteous, just path leads to light and a “perfect day”. The evil path leads to blindness and stumbling.
It is so important for us to see as God sees. When we see the way He does, we will do what He wants us to do. That being said, we need to choose light over dark. We need direction. We need the light. The application of this text is to make the choice proposed by the father. Choose wisdom, light, and direction. Reject evil, darkness, and stumbling.
What would it look like for you to choose the wise, just, righteous, luminous path today?