“Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight” (Psalm 119:35 RSV).
In light of our attempts to extinguish the Light of the world ASAP, I wanted to share this thought from McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader, p.187: “If you can induce a community to doubt the genuineness and authenticity of the Scriptures; to question the reality and obligations of religion; to hesitate, undeciding, whether there be any such thing as virtue or vice; whether there exists [a] state of retribution beyond the grave; or whether there exists any such being as God, you have broken down the barriers of moral virtue, and hoisted the flood gates of immorality and crime. I need not say that when a people have done this, they can no longer exist as a tranquil and happy people. Every bond that holds society together would be ruptured; fraud and treachery would take the place of confidence between man and man; the tribunals of justice would be scenes of bribery and injustice; avarice, perjury, ambition, and revenge would walk through the land and render it more like the dwelling of savage beasts than the tranquil abode of civilized and Christianized men” (Dr. Gardiner Spring, 1785-1873).
This prophetic paragraph also reminds me of 2 Timothy 3:1-5: "Mark this, there are hard times coming in the last days. For men will be selfish, fond of money, boastful, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreverent, callous, relentless, scurrilous, dissolute, and savage; they will hate goodness, they will be treacherous, reckless and conceited, preferring pleasure to God for though they keep up a form of religion, they will have nothing to do with it as a force." (Moffatt.)
Now I realize I’m a fossil but, believe me, there are principles and precepts in life which are carved in stone! Common sense tells us that if we jump off a 30-story building there’s a 99.9% chance that we won’t see our relatives and friends anymore. We also know that if we start out on a trip to Florida and wind up in Maine, then either the map was upside down or we had a wrong map. It would seem that common sense would also tell us that there are spiritual laws that govern our lives, and somewhere there is a map for us to guide us on our journey to that country whose foundation is God (Hebrews 11:10). I have found the Word of God to be that guidebook. It grieves me that this guidebook is being torn to shreds. For the eternal life of me, I cannot see how the Ten Commandments can do anything but make life more serene. Heaven knows, and earthlings, too, that we need serenity is this mad world of ours. It seems that “do not kill, steal or covet” would make life a bit easier for us all!
I’m a big fan of walking a straight path (even though I’ve veered too many times!), and I would like to share these path verses from God’s Guidebook:
• Pr.4:26: "Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm." TLB: “Watch your step. Stick to the path and be safe.”
• Is.2:3: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths."
• Jer.6:16: "This is what the Lord says: `Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'"
• Zech.3:7,8 TLB: "...If you will follow the paths I set for you and do all I tell you to...I will let you walk in and out of my presence with these angels...You are illustrations of the good things to come."
• Ps.1:6 TLB: "For the Lord watches over all the plans and paths of godly men..."
• Ps.23:3: "He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
• Ps.65:11 NKJ: "You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance."
• Pr.3:17: "Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace." Ps.37:11.
• Is.42:16: "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth."
• Heb.12:13: "Make level paths for your feet (Pr 4:26), so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed." (Changing disable to Hisable, Hisability and not our disability. . . )
• Ps.16:11: "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence..."
• Ps.77:19: "Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen."
• Pr.4:18: "The path of the righteous is like the first beam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day." Moffatt: "The course of good men, like a ray of dawn, shines on and on to the full light of day."
• Is.26:7 TLB: "But for good men the path is not uphill and rough! God does not give them a...treacherous path, but smooths the road before them."
• Micah 2:7c TLB: "[The Lord's] threats are for your good, to get you on the path again."
• Jer.8:4-6 TLB: "Once again give them this message from the Lord: When a person falls, he jumps up again; when he is on the wrong road and discovers his mistake, he goes back to the fork where he made the wrong turn. But these people keep on along their evil path, even though I warn them. I listen to their conversation and what do I hear? Is anyone sorry for sin? Does anyone say, `What a terrible thing I have done?' No, all are rushing pell-mell down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse rushing to the battle!"
• Proverbs 10:17 TLB: “Anyone willing to be corrected is on the pathway to life. Anyone refusing has lost his chance.”