26 The righteous choose their friends carefully,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27 The lazy do not roast any game,
but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.
28 In the way of righteousness there is life;
along that path is immortality.
The righteous choose their friends carefully, and it is because of this that they can call them true friends. It is neither by popularity nor usefulness that true friends are chosen, but by shared values. The wicked are led astray by their own desires, and are happy to bring others down with them, there is neither loyalty nor trust between such companions. “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” When trouble comes, those who haven’t chosen their friends carefully will find they have no friends at all.
“The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.” Hunting is about taking advantage of opportunities, and putting yourself in the right place at the right time. When presented with an opportunity, the lazy see only the difficulty, so they miss out on the lessons and the rewards of the hunt. But the diligent grow through each challenge, learning from their mistakes. They are grateful for the difficulties which sharpen their skills, and for the meals that are their reward.
“In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.” There are also many obstacles in the way of righteousness, which deter many from the path. But where do they go instead? They fail to consider the alternatives, if the difficult path leads to life then where does the easy path lead? In the end only one thing matters, and that is the destination.