A Way that Leads to Life

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There is a way[1] which seems right to a man, but its end[2] is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12

We all have a “way”. The way that we traverse in this life is the path that we follow, the road that guides us, an inner compass, a moral code, a worldview. Some us, perhaps most of us, waver in the way that we travel. Some of us have constructed our own ways; others have borrowed from others: friends, family, culture, teachers, philosophers, church, the Bible and other sources.

We all have moral imperatives that guide us. They are so embedded in most of us that we hardly even think about them. When we are faced with decisions, we fall back on them, often without consciously thinking about them. They become habits of thought and action.

We tend to “own” our ways by distinguishing ourselves from others and judging others who do not follow our ways. We gravitate toward other people who have similar or complimentary ways to our own. Though we do not spend much conscious time considering our ways, most of us have internalized our ways so much that they are a part of us.

Our own moral code dictates the way we judge others. People who fault others for “judging” are, themselves, judging, and they judge by the “way” (moral code) to which they ascribe.

God judges us, however, by His moral code. God has established a way for us to follow. God’s way leads to Himself and to eternal fellowship with Him.

Our tendency is to want to follow our own ways. We should ask ourselves: which way has the advantage of a higher perspective? Who has a better map to the place we desire to go?

There is a way that seems right to a man. In fact, we all tend to think our ways are right. But, none of us has the perspective or wisdom of God. Our way leads to death; God’s way leads to life.

But, God patiently waits for us to turn to His way. Consider this:

“God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from Him.” (2 Samuel  14:14) The Hebrew translated “banished” in this sentence is the same Hebrew word translated “cast out” in the same sentence (nadach). It reads in effect, “the banished one will not be banished”.

What it means is hard to understand without knowing that the second use of the word is the imperfect Hebrew form (imperfect tense), which depicts action that will (or will not) happen in the future. In essence, it conveys the idea that, though we may be banished (cast out) in the present, we will not cast out forever.

More specifically, God has planned ways for us not to be outcast from Him forever. But, it requires us to turn from our own ways.

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7)

My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.(Isaiah 55:8)

What are our ways and our thoughts compared to God’s ways and God’s thoughts? Though our ways may seem right to us, we have extremely limited perspective. We are not even a speck in the Universe;. How much greater than us is God? In fact, who are we that God even takes notice of us ?

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?

But, God does consider us and care for us! We, then, would do well to be mindful of Him!

There seem to be an endless number of pundits on every topic imaginable, including religion and the  Bible. They all claim to be right. I say, read the Bible for yourself. If God exists, and if the Bible is His communication to us, He can speak to you through it.

There is  a way that leads to life. With the death of this body that we inhabit inevitable, that is good news! But it requires us to turn from our limited perspective and the ways that we have adopted and to embrace God’s perspective and His ways.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[1] 1870/derek – Properly, a way, road, one’s whole journey (over-all way) of life, rooted in timeless moral-spiritual realities. God alone establishes the guidelines needed to gain what lasts forever. Derek is associated with God’s revelation and direction, linking decisions (actions) to their everlasting significance (cf. 1 Kings 2:4; Proverbs 1:6; Isaiah 55:7). God’s way elevates what is eternal over what is passing. The true meaning of life is the faith-journey which offers unbroken eternal significance. The life of the wicked (disobedient) is also called (derek), but destined for ending in destruction. God’s covenant requires obedience and faithfulness to know His blessings.

[2] 319/aărîth – properly, after-part; (figuratively) what inevitably follows a particular process or development path (BDB); the unavoidable end, with its “ultimate” consequences or rewards – i.e. what goes with a particular decision or lifestyle.

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One thought on “A Way that Leads to Life

  1. Pingback: The Ways of Death and a Way of Life | Navigating by Faith

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