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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why the Straight Paths?

We've been reading Proverbs and memorizing passages from it. This morning I asked the boys why there are so many references to walking the straight path - why God put that in His Word so many times in Proverbs?  We talked about how going down the wrong path can lead to destruction.  Bad choices.  Bad friends.  Bad examples.  Bad habits.  All can get us on the wrong choice that Solomon warns of in his wisdom from God.

One verse that strikes me funny is this one: Proverbs 4:7, "The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding."  The BEGINNING of wisdom is simply in trying to GET IT!  That is funny to me because it's so simple, yet for many, just coming to that conclusion isn't that simple.  And maybe even for me, at times, it isn't so simple.  It's actually pretty profound!

Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
    from men whose words are perverse,
who have left the straight paths
    to walk in dark ways,
who delight in doing wrong
    and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, Proverbs 2:12-14

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil. Proverbs 3:5-7

Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble. Proverbs 4:10-12

The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
    but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness. Proverbs 11:5

Straight paths, for some, may seem boring.  There may not be as many "thrill rides" on the straight path, but that depends on what thrills you.  Does pain and sorrow thrill you? Do trials and heartaches thrill you?  When you are on the straight path, you will have pain and sorrow and trials, but nothing compared to the ones you will have on the dark path.  Ask anyone who has gone down that dark path and hit bottom. They will tell you it wasn't a thrill when they hit.  There may have been a few thrills on the way, but most all of them will tell you it was in no way thrilling when they got to the bottom.  It's actually more like a roller coaster spiraling out of control and then crashing at the bottom of the track.

So, why does God warn to stay on the straight path?  Here is why, plain and simple: 

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

No thrill ride is worth missing out on the eternal home of Heaven.  No thrill ride is worth getting off of that narrow road and keeping us from that small gate.  Does God WANT people to choose destruction? Of course not!  But He won't make anyone choose the narrow way. He allows us the choice and allows us to have our own free will - whether we choose to love Him or not.

When it's put that way, it's a pretty easy choice, isn't it?  And if you were once on the wide, destructive road, there's good news!  You can get back on the narrow path.  It's not too late!  Praise God for His plan of salvation.  Praise God for His Gospel - the death, burial and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ - and the opportunity to obey that Gospel.  

Straight paths.  The narrow way.  Life.

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

I think many of us think we are on the straight path and get comfortable with that. We have to beware of that, too! We must always be on the watch and comparing our walk to Jesus if we are to stay on His path.

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