For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.
The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.
You probably noticed I skipped Proverbs 4. I don’t know, maybe this set of verses spoke to me the most today – or, at least the most at this particular time, anyway.
All of our ways are before the eyes of the Lord. I could imagine that before we were born, our heavenly Father already had each and every path we could take before Him – God actively sees every projected possibility, considering our design, the circumstances of the world down to the condition of the people we may spend our time with; He sees all that COULD happen before our actual lives unfold, and He is also able to see any and all other possibilities that come up as we make choice after choice, and as choices of those who have power, authority, and influence over us are being made.
The Lord ponders all of our paths. He sees all that we do, and He also sees everything we will do, and every path we plan to take. We may remember some of the paths we’ve been in, but He is completely aware of every step we’ve taken. When I think about this I couldn’t help but feel just a little more assured of the Truth of God’s nature – His wisdom is beyond finite limits, so much so that He knows where we’re headed, just as much as He knows where each and every one of us can go. It’s not something out of a comic book – I say Stephen Strange has nothing on Him. But on the other hand, when I read the word ponder, I feel as if God intentionally puts all of His knowledge into considering all of our possibilities down to the smallest of details, not leaving anything to chance. To say that God ponders our paths would give us another glimpse as to the greatness and goodness of the God who saved us, through Christ and His finished work.
We may already be so aware of how our own iniquities trap and ensnare us, but God certainly knows the full extent of the effects of all of our actions. Unfortunately, if we are without a Savior, we all default to paying the wages of sin which has been imputed to us – without Jesus Christ, all of our being, all things concerning our being, and all that we set out to do, no matter how we claim our intentions are good – as all of it is infused with sin, so all of it has no life, and is not only doomed to end, but to just cease to exist – sin dooms us to oblivion. Pretty easy to see where we’re headed as long as we have sin and iniquity anywhere near our beings and systems.
But see, God knew exactly how we would be ensnared and held fast by sin – He knows of the details of the wages of sin, again, down to the smallest details – sure, we could say that we die, and we wouldn’t be wasting our time. The thing is, I believe God intentionally involved Himself in all of the details, just as Christ drained the cup down to its dregs at the cross. Again, leaving nothing to chance, for all to believe to be saved – that is, (1) to be fully and absolutely separate from sin and death – and not only ‘death’, but full and complete entropy; the end of our being. We are saved from sin and death, and the salvation Christ paid such a great price for us to have also entails that (2) we have been made righteous, and righteous unto life – and note only ‘life’, but full and complete meaning – literal life, down to our very bones.
By Christ and His finished work, we may still make our mistakes, but they would never fully ensnare us – they would never separate us from the love of God poured out upon us. No longer are we held fast, no longer are we bound by addictions and obsessions, or any other cords of sin – no, even as we may be still recovering from said cords, they would never hold us longer and stronger than the embrace of our everlasting Father – as the prodigal son was hugged, so we remain in the good graces and the literal embrace of our Father, who was the One who ran to us even when we were so resolved to submit ourselves, not as sons and daughters, but servants and slaves. God wouldn’t have any of it – again, He left nothing to chance, sending His Son to pay above and beyond what any of us could afford, in the name of fully reconciling us to Him.
We rest, knowing that Christ has paid for everything to guarantee that all things in this world would work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose – and while this DOES mean us, it doesn’t necessarily mean we would benefit from each and every circumstance, but we’re sure the body of Christ will… and that doesn’t take any value away, nor does it diminish the faithfulness of our good and great God. It’s for this reason that we may rest, even when we suffer; Christ is the love and the life who is present in us, just as we are in Him – and because we live forever, this is certainly a reason for us to seek discipline – not only from our own efforts, but certainly from our Father, who loves us that much to lovingly discipline us.
You see where I’m going with all this? Once, our great folly led us astray. We were completely hopeless, making one wrong turn after another to the point that our sin does not only make us lose our bearings, but leaves us in a perpetual state of being lost. Now – again – because of no less than Christ and all He has done for us, we take heart! Why? We know that Christ Himself is the literal Way, and it’s not only that He is capable of leading us to the ‘right’ or the ‘best’ way – No, to know that we HAVE the Way means that no matter where we head to, no matter how faulty our thinking may be in any decision we make, we have Jesus Christ, who is our Way by way of being our Righteousness – He is literally the BEST for us at any moment!
As I was writing all of this I couldn’t help but smile, knowing that the Lord who knows anything and everything there is to know about our past, present, and future, and all there is to know in us, around us, above us, and involving us, down to the very smallest of details – He knows all there is to know, and He demonstrates just how much He loves us still. I smile because He gave us a clear and complete demonstration of how He is for us – through no less than His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Way when we feel lost. He is the Life for us even when we feel demotivated, reckless and/or anxious. He is the Truth that remains no matter how we may be bound by this world and all the systems that seek to restrain us. He is our Prince of Peace, in all of our ways, and in all of the paths we take… and it’s for this reason that we just continue to proclaim no less than His absolute goodness and greatness.
What beautiful thoughts to keep in mind, what a beautiful Truth to meditate on, as we start this weekend.