What comes to your mind when you think of paths? For me, I visualize the well-worn shortcut I followed as a child, as I ventured to my grandmother’s house on Sunday afternoon. While hidden from the casual traveler in the area, this path represented a familiar and direct route to my final destination. For believers, the paths of God will also lead to our final destination-eternity with Him. Join the Psalmist David as he explores the paths of God.
The 25th Psalm was written by David and given the title, “Prayer for Guidance and Deliverance.” It is fitting then that we speak of the paths of God in the context of guidance and deliverance. The Hebrew translation for path is orach (o’-rakh) and is used to described as a well-trodden road. Orach appears fifty-eight (58) times in the Old Testament; found predominately in the books of Proverbs, Psalms, and Job. Most often it is used in a figurative way, describing the way to life or to death. (Prov. 4:14)
In our text, David is asking God to teach him His paths–the ways to life (to be pursued) AND the ways to death (to be avoided). God’s paths represent His best for our lives, even when we don’t understand where the “end” will take us. We can trust in God. (v.2) We can be confident He will lead us in mercy and truth (vv. 5 and 10) and that His paths reflect His tender mercies and lovingkindness. (v. 6) As we travel the paths of God, “He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.” (Micah 4:2) Where do we begin?
- Meditate on God’s Word. There we will learn of God’s ways. “They word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my paths.” (Ps. 119:105)
- Spend time with God. There we better understand God’s path for our life. “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps. 16:11)
- Listen for His Voice. There we align our thoughts with the God’s through the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17)
Knowing God’s paths will relieve worry and concern with the events in the world and in our life. Be aware of the paths God daily chooses for you. Because of His lovingkindness, we can trust that He will always “lead us in the way that you should go.” (Ps. 143:8) All the paths of God are good.
Good to the Last Byte…
Paths are very different from highways. While the later are usually traveled by greater numbers of people, paths offer a more solitary route for arrival. While highways offer a better maintained and smoother journey, paths are found in areas where the terrain is rough and uneven in spots. Paths may be well-trodden by the few who found them both dependable and worthwhile. Following God’s “paths of righteousness” (Ps. 23:3) will get you where you need to go–on earth and through eternity.