"Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard."
When you hear the word hard, what do you think of?
Or maybe diamonds?
Those are, after all, one of the hardest substances known to man.
Or, when you think of "hard" do you think of "difficult"?
Well, I bet you didn't think of the root of this word in the old Hebrew text --- I know I didn't! The root means "permanent" . . . One commentary that I read said that it refers to hard, stony ground, like a long-dried up river bed. That's in direct contrast to the verse before, where, as Tonya told us, there is a fountain available to us!
Now, what makes the difference here? Well, those who have "good understanding" don't have as much to worry about --- they're going to be obtaining that understanding from studying and following the Word. As an example of good understanding, the Israelites, because they had and kept the statutes of the Lord, were accepted by others (found favor with them) as a wise and understanding people.
It's the "transgressors" that have a hard time here . . . they're between a rock and a hard place: between their sin and the barren, dry life apart from God. How blessed to enjoy the Fountain of life, with joy, strength, and refreshment available to us!