Straight Paths

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.

Proverbs 3 vs.5-6

He (the LORD) will make your paths straight.

 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, ‘Away with you!’

Isaiah 30 v.19-22

These verses are a beautiful illustration of the last phrase of the passage  we have been meditating on this week. Through Isaiah, God announces a number of woes on his people recorded for us in chapters 28-31 but here in the middle of the woes once again grace shines through. The people of Israel had rejected God’s message 30 v.12 and suffered the results of that rejection vs. 13-14 but God comes again and says

‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. v.15’

Note the link with our Proverbs verses!

Then comes the grace in v.18 ‘Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you and rises

to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

O People of Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.

And the result? The LORD’s voice saying ‘This is the way walk in it.’ Then the people defiled and threw away their idols and much blessing was the result.

Blessing is what God plans for his people.

For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29 v.11

Proverbs 3 vs.5-6 are a simple recipe for God glorifying, right living. The paths of those who ignore the first four sections of these verses sadly end up in very crooked, devious and dangerous paths. It may not always be obvious because of common grace but we will be wise if we follow the Wisdom of Solomon in these verses and we and others will be blessed as we do.

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