Which Path

Proverbs 2:20-22 

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.


After heavy rainfall, grass and weed grow taller. Every homeowner is busy mowing their lawn. If you let grass and weeds grow tall, more than six inches, in your backyard, your neighbor might be disturbed.

There was unverified story about a concerned citizen who called the police. She reported, “The backyard of my neighbor has grown lots of weeds; can you please check if they are still alive?” So, the police arrived at the said residence and they inspected the backyard of the residence if it has grown lots of weeds as reported.

The police saw vegetable plants in the yard and not weeds. And, the house owner gave the police some of vegetables ready to cook. The neighbor who reported to the police may not have recognized that what she had reported were actually vegetable plants.

Anyway, it is a responsibility of homeowners to take care of their yard and remove weeds. Truly, it is very pleasant to see well-trimmed lawn. Yet, particular groups may suggest that weeds with flowers, particularly dandelions, can be beneficial to bees. Well, not everyone is happy about dandelion flowers. Maybe, they have allergies.

Who likes dandelions? Who promotes the welfare of bees? You can support a movement of your choice, but be aware of any regulations related to homeownership. Are you familiar with the stipulations in homeownership that should be observed?

As Christians, our lifestyle and practices should testify to our belief in Jesus Christ. Have we been transformed or not yet? Born-again Christians must choose to be upright.

1.  Upright

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;

Upright Israelites enjoyed life in the Promised Land; they’re blessed abundantly.

To be upright, we must continue to rely upon the Lord for godly wisdom in every aspect of our life – our action, participations and adherence to society. Faith in Christ results to godly lifestyle. Godly behavior and conduct are guided by biblical principles.

Biblical principles are godly instructions that lead to a path of righteous lifestyle. A righteous lifestyle is satisfying because the Lord blesses it. Additionally, God listens to the prayer of the righteous. So, if you really wish that your prayer is answered, reflect on what it says in 1 Peter 3:12, 12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.


In Hebrew culture, married women without children were mocked and scorned often. Married Hebrew women were expected to have children. Although, Hannah was loved by her husband, she deeply desired to have her own child. Before Prophet Samuel was born, his mother Hannah prayed in anguish to have her own children.

As she prayed, she wept bitterly and made a vow to the Lord in 1 Samuel 1:11: 11Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.

The love of her husband was not enough for Hannah; his love cannot satisfy her.

With no child, Hannah felt miserable. Remarkably, she wanted a child that she can offer to the Lord. Why? Did she realize that if she offers her child to the Lord, then her child won’t stay with her in their house eventually? Or, did Hannah suppose that she would be blessed even more if she can offer her own child to serve the Lord?

Indeed, the Lord was gracious to Hannah. She gave birth to Samuel. After Samuel was weaned, he served the Lord all the days of his life. How about his mother? It says in 1 Samuel 2:21, 21And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

Hannah dedicated her child Samuel to the Lord. Her story had been very popular passage used by Christian pastors when they dedicate children to the Lord. And, many Christian parents believe that to dedicate their children to the care of the Lord, it would bring blessing to their children and themselves as well. Good and upright parents want their children to follow a righteous path of life and become responsible citizens.

Parents: Pray for your children that they may serve the Lord and you and your children will be blessed. You would want your children in the church rather than in night clubs on Wednesday nights, wouldn’t you?

Righteous path of life is designed for blessedness. God’s blessing to the upright is contentment. But to the unfaithful, undesirable circumstances are waiting for them.

2.  Unfaithful

22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

When the Israelites served the Lord, they prospered and lived in peace. But when they served various gods of other nations, the Israelites became wicked and unfaithful to the Lord. Unfaithfulness angers our jealous God. God sent enemies who plundered the unfaithful Israelites. They cried to the Lord. In His mercy, God raised judges as their leader.

It narrated in Judges 2:18-22, 18Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

20Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, 21I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died.  22I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their ancestors did.”

The record of blessedness and wickedness of the Israelites serve as warning for all believers of God. The God of Abraham is the God of the Israelites, and he is the same God whom we Christians believe in. With godly wisdom, we discern the importance (for us) to know and remember the blessedness of the Israelites, when they obeyed and served the Lord; and with godly wisdom, we also keep in mind that the Lord will not ignore the wickedness of his people. The Lord wants to bless obedience to him. Why?

What happens when we let Jesus Christ actively performs his authority over our life? We follow him; we obey his righteous instructions. Godly instructions are life principles to satisfied life. But most often, the word “obedience” sparks pressure in our inner self so that we resist obedience. Why? Why do we naturally resist “obedience?”

We obey Christ when we rely upon him to guide our life, decisions and actions. To obey implies being subordinate or dependent. Human nature wants to be master of the self and captain of the soul; we want to decide on our own and follow our will.

In reality, when we follow our human will, our natural self initiates; and actually, we instinctively obey our human sinful nature. Sinfulness is natural inclination of our human will and self initiatives. All that we do that originate from human free will are outside the will of God. Human free will is not godly, not holy and not perfect; it has blemish, imperfection and limitation. Can you accept that? Human free will is unsatisfied, insatiable in everything.

In comparison, we find contentment by faith in God. With godly wisdom, we believe, understand, and follow godly instruction to righteous path of satisfied life. A satisfied life is blessed life.

It says in James 5:16-18, 16The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

Why are we unsatisfied with what we have practically and want more? Have you desired for the best but you get less inferior? You might be passionate on activities that you hope to bring good tidings and best benefits for you, but, it’s not the best result as you wished. Why does God allow failures for his children, even when we are prayerful?

We may like it or not; we may believe it or not; but whatever we do, as children of God, he may allow activities to progress, if he ordained them to help us grow mature spiritually. If passion or prayer item is not useful to our spiritual growth, he denies it; but if our prayer items are useful for righteous lifestyle, he grants them.

Prophet Elijah was considered righteous man, and the Lord answered his prayer.

It’s godly righteousness to completely rely upon the Lord, even when we pray. So, pray to discern what the Lord wants us to pray for; and pray for increase of faith and trust that he grants our prayer in his perfect timing and not on the timing we expect.

Peace of God assures us that he answered our prayers and we are not bothered by seemingly silence of the Lord. God’s perfect timing is designed for our betterment.

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