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Choose Your Course Wisely
Proverbs 14:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way of death.
Making choices that are wise and having a flourishing, successful life no doubt demands the knowledge, good sense, and life skills to recognize what is right from what is wrong. However, the Bible warns:
There is a way that seems right to a man: way; road; journey: (דֶּרֶךְ derek) is literally a way, path, route, road, highway to be able to get from one place to another. (Gen. 16:7) It also refers to the journey that has a known destination, going from one place to another, with the route in mind. In addition, derek also refers to the way, that is, a course of conduct, behavior, way of life, what is done, the way you conduct yourself on this journey filled with life-choices that you make in this imperfect age of Satan’s world. The father is giving the son the way to go by way of wisdom. Seems right, infers a moral character, a way of behaving. We can imagine a journey wherein the traveler thinks he is headed in the right direction and that he has laid out his path correctly that will get him toward his destination. But he realizes in the last moment that the path he has chosen leads to death. Man is of course a masculine reference, but this also applies to the life of a woman as well.
but its end is the way of death: Of course, here, its end is referring to “the end of the journey,” “the end of the path,” “the end of the road,” “the end of his life.” And, undoubtedly, the way of death is referring to the “way,” “path,” “route,” “road” that ends in death.
Therefore, we must learn how to distinguish between what is actually the right way and what may seem like the right way. The expression the way of death is telling us that there are going to be many false, ambiguous, unreliable, illusory ways. Every major or significant decision that we make in like either keeps us on the right way or can divert us off the right way. Our human foresight is limited, so we must have a deep grasp of God’s Word to guide us. We must avoid the way of the fool, the way of excessive pleasure, and putting our way over the way of God. Sadly, as Jesus tells us, the way of death belongs to a great many self-deluded souls. (Matt. 7:21-23) These ones believe that they are doing the will of God, when, in reality, they are doing the will of themselves.
Their way is of stupidity and disregard, the way of the world of man that is alienated from God and earthly mindedness as opposed to the mind of Christ, the way of emotionalism, and pleasing the flesh, seems to be the right way to those who walk in them. They have a blind zeal that leads only their way, not the way of God. They imagine this will lead them to eternal life. Furthermore, they glorify themselves in their own eyes, imagining that all will be well at in the end. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt. 7:21-23) Their end is very terrifying, and even more so as they near the end of the way: the way of death, eternal destruction; their error in judgment will certainly be their destruction, and they will die because they chose to lie to themselves. Self-delusion will in the end be a case of self-destroyer.