“never changes.” The Hebrew word is eythan (#0386 אֵיתָן), and it means perpetual, constant, ever-flowing, or enduring. However, that is considered to be a difficult reading by most translators and commentators, who amend the Hebrew text to fit with the Septuagint, and thus amend the Hebrew to read something such as “is hard” or “is destruction.” Usually, eythan refers to things that last, such as the life of the righteous, but that does not mean that every use of eythan has to have that meaning. While it is always possible that the Masoretic Hebrew text got corrupted, there is no need to believe that is the case here just because the reading is difficult. In the first stanza, we see that good judgment brings favor, but what about the way of the wicked and the unfaithful?
Dozens of verses testify that the wicked and unfaithful will come to ruin, but too often good and godly people ignore that fact, and waste their time on them, thinking that ungodly people will change. Of course, we always hope for the best for the ungodly, and pray that ungodly people will repent and believe God, but the wise person sets up reasonable boundaries and knows when to stop trying to help someone who is not beginning to make good decisions on their own. For example, the New Testament tells us to try to work with and correct a divisive person twice, and then move on (Titus 3:10-11). That may seem harsh, but our life on this planet is limited, and we must strive to put our time and energy where it will do the most good. When we have good judgment, we get favor, but if we don’t realize that the behavior of most ungodly people is unchanging, we will constantly waste our lives chasing the dream that someday that ungodly person will change. The wise thing to do is to set godly boundaries for dealing with people and pray for wisdom as to when to move on from someone who is unchanging. That can be difficult, but true godliness is often difficult. God’s Word says that generally the wicked will not change, and life has proved that out. Jesus taught us that the road to destruction is broad and many travel on it (Matt. 7:13), and we do not need to be the constant traveling companions of those people.