Friday, June 24, 2011
Paths of Righteousness
“He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23)
The above passage is a familiar one, but as I approached it one day, I thought about what it means to be led by God through “paths” of righteousness (what is right, just or normal according to God‘s standards).
This entire Psalm reflects a God who is seen as a Shepherd loving and dependable towards his people. So, when I noticed there were “paths of righteousness,” I wasn’t surprised that God has carved out paths for his people to follow in. Even David knew of God’s paths of righteousness. He said “my steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped” (Psalm 17).
As children, we can probably all remember our parents telling us to stay on a certain path to get where we wanted to go. There’s always danger lurking and a good parent will forewarn their children. The other day, I was walking in a strange neighborhood and nearing the end of my “path”, I encountered a very big dog who came out of nowhere. I screamed and tried to outrun the dog which didn’t work very well. Suddenly, the owner captured his pet and I struggled to find my peace again. Had I known more about this path, I may have avoided this situation.
God, who is the perfect parent, knows what is planned by the enemy and will keep us shielded from the devil’s schemes IF we will keep God always before us. Proverbs 3:5&6 is one of my favorite passages, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” A straight path is a righteous, (right) path.
All of this to say…. There is a path worth traveling and it’s the path of righteousness. If Jesus is your Shepherd, he will gladly lead you in order that you may avoid the pitfalls that are lurking around every corner. Lastly, it is for his glory that we arrive at our destination where we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).