Wrong Way: The Way That Seems Right
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The Wrong Way: The Way That Seems Right
ALL THROUGH THE BIBLE ... THERE ARE STATEMENTS DESIGNED TO MAKE US AWARE OF POTENTIAL DANGER. The Lord reveals to us those things; knowing what is best for us and what can hurt our relationship to Him.
We are often informed of wrong choices, and told of the expected consequences. We need to be aware of the many times where we are warned and listen to those warnings because we don’t know what is best for us as the Lord does.
One such warning is in
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." What can we learn from this warning that the Lord gives us? There are four observations I want to make considering this verse. First of all: SOME THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM!! Appearances and first impressions are not always accurate!
Just a couple of examples to show this:
When I make dinner, one of my favorite meals to make is pepperoni pizza with extra cheese. At first glance when it comes out of the oven, It looks so good. To me, It looks so healthy also. It has almost every major food group in one meal! It’s gotta be good for you, right? Some things just are not what they seem! Not all pizza is good for you, especially the kind I like.
Have you ever tried to pet a dog that looked so friendly but when you got near to it, it wanted to bite your hand off?
These aren’t the greatest of examples. I’m sure you can probably think of better ones yourself.
The fact that some things aren’t always what they seem to be is something we must bear in mind, especially regarding our relationship with the Lord and what we seem to think is right or good for us and the church. Some practice may seem to be right; it may look like it will accomplish some good, it may feel like within ourselves that it is the right thing to do; but if the Lord doesn’t tell us that that practice is something that he wants us to do, it could be harmful or detrimental to our relationship with Him!
Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD."
It seemed to Saul and the people that they were obeying the Lord, but they were not.
They had not killed Agag and had kept the best cattle and sheep. Though Samuel questioned Saul and told him of the Lord’s desire for obedience, Saul still said to Samuel that he had obeyed the Lord.
Then Saul said to Samuel, "I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
It may have seemed that they had obeyed the Lord, but they really did not.
There are so many religious groups today that do things that the Lord doesn’t command just because on the surface it seems like some kind of good can come out of it. And sometimes it may seem that much good does come out of it.
A religious practice may have the endorsement and approval of the majority.... all the appearances may lend themselves to acceptance.... but, when you really study the matter and check the Scriptures, IT’S THE WRONG WAY if the Lord does not authorize it. If the Lord does not command us to do it, It’s the wrong way no matter how good it seems.
Whoever goes onward and abides not in the teaching of Christ, has not God: he that abides in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son.
Some pathway may look like a smooth garden-path, winding among flower-beds; it may be attractive, appealing and agreeable. But - in the end, it's the way of death! The way leading to destruction is usually not accompanied by A HUGE NEON SIGN that says "DESTUCTION, THIS WAY!" Some things are not what they seem.
We need to look beyond appearances! Just because it seems good, doesn’t mean that it is good! We need to "Test all things” with the scriptures! And “hold fast what is good," (2 Thess. 5:21). FOR, "there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."
We need to be careful, because I’m sure some of us have been guilty at some time in the past as saying “It doesn’t seem fair” when it comes to God’s will for someone or us. God’s ways are good and right, and we shouldn’t question them no matter what our opinions are. Just because we may hold opinion on something does not mean that the Lord agrees with us. I think that the reason why we think that so many things do or do not seem right is that we too often choose a wrong standard. When we are looking at some kind of practice, and we say to ourselves “I don’t see anything wrong with it. It looks good to me.” Are we using the right standard? Are we and what we think the standard?
We need to remember that God’s word is the standard for knowing what is pleasing to Him. It is the only place we can go to know what is pleasing to Him. There is no need for us to guess and assume what is right.
We need to remember a very valuable lesson for this life, which is the second point I would like to make concerning :
WE DON’T KNOW IT ALL! In our society, there are so many different philosophies and teachings of science. Mankind loves to gain knowledge; just as the Greeks of Paul’s day. We should not allow ourselves get deceived by the so called wisdom of the intellectually elite and those who are in the religious world. We learn in the scriptures that the wisdom of and knowledge of the world can make someone proud. Men get to the point where they sometimes think that they know better than God or know more than God.
We need to trust in the wisdom of the Lord. The Lord gives us so many warnings of consequences that will come if we do certain things, but we sometimes think to ourselves that we are the exceptions. We need to see how truly limited we are without the Lord. Gods ways and thoughts are so far above ours! How can we think we know what will better for us?
Let’s compare THE HUMAN PERSPECTIVE WITH THE DIVINE PERSPECTIVE.
· Man sees the appearance ... God can see beyond the appearances. Man has a limited knowledge of the past ... God has a perfect view of the past.
· Man has limited knowledge of the future ... God has what the Bible calls "foreknowledge!"
· Man can be affected by prejudice, selfishness, ulterior motives ... God is perfectly impartial and just in all His judgments.
· Man can be blinded by passion and self-will ... Man can be tempted ... THESE THINGS DO NOT HAPPEN TO GOD!! NOW, WHO HAS THE BETTER VIEW OF THINGS? You see, there is A HIGHER JUDGE ... FAR ABOVE MAN!
When we compare THE HUMAN PERSPECTIVE with THE DIVINE PERSPECTIVE ...it becomes clear that THERE IS A VAST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. With such a lack of knowledge that we have about how this world works, why do we ever think that we know better than the Lord? It must be clear to us --- that MAN SURE DOESN’T KNOW BETTER THAN THE LORD!!!
says that “the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” If that was the case then, I believe it is surely the case now! We need to see our need for the word of God and its guidance. We need to trust our steps to the all-knowing and all-powerful God. He knows what is best for us.
Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, 4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."
A third point I would like to take from this text is: SINCERITY DOESN'T STOP CONSEQUENCES. You may be completely convinced that a certain thing is right; you may believe it with all your heart sincerely; having no doubt that this thing is correct à BUT IF WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS WRONG, YOUR SINCERITY AND CERTAINTY WILL NOT STOP THE CONSEQUENCES that the Lord says will happen. Our opinion that the path is right does not make it right. Our sincerity in an erroneous opinion does not exempt you from the consequences! There are so many people of so many different religions that seem sincere. They all believe that they are right. But the fact that so many seem sincere in their beliefs, if they are not following Jesus the way He prescribed, sincerity is not going to get you to heaven. Just because we sincerely believe something is right doesn’t make it so, especially when the Lord says otherwise.
I’m sure that the people were sincere in their not killing all of the best cattle and sheep.
"But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal."
They wanted to use them in worship to God as sacrifices. It seems like a great motive. But no matter how sincere they were, they disobeyed the Lord and there would be consequences, ESPECIALLY FOR SAUL. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king."
We need to realize that there are great consequences to allowing what we seem to be right or wrong to cause us to disagree with the Lord with our words and actions, the greatest of which is my final point:
A WRONG CHOICE CAN LEAD TO DEATH (physically and spiritually)!
This is so, in respect to physical death. In driving an automobile -- a wrong choice can lead to death. Surely we have learned and have seen, in regard to drugs and alcohol, A WRONG CHOICE CAN LEAD TO DEATH. There are many sins that can lead to physical death. But, THERE IS ANOTHER KIND OF DEATH that sin can lead to: SPIRITUAL DEATH.
Do we ever want to allow what we think seems right to allow us to be separated from our God?
There is only one outcome to living our lives the way that we want; making choices that are contrary to God’s will.
For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The payment that we deserve for disobeying the Creator of the universe is death, physically and spiritually.
Conclusion: I've made four observations, in reference to a familiar passage: 1. Some things are not what they seem. 2. Man is not the highest surveyor of life. We don’t know it all. 3. Sincerity doesn't stop consequences. 4. A wrong choice can lead to death. Now, in view of these things --- WHAT OUGHT WE TO DO?? If some things are not what they seem ... If man is not the highest surveyor of life ... If sincerity doesn't stop consequences ... If a wrong choice can lead to death ... WHAT OUGHT WE TO DO?? We ought to be sure of every step we take. We may be sincere ... but wrong. So, we need to be sure we are right!! And, if we have a copy of God's Word, and we rightly divide it and apply it, we can know that we are right.
THERE ARE REALLY ONLY 2 POSSIBLE WAYS YOU CAN GO IN LIFE: GOD’S WAY OR THE WRONG WAY!
We cannot depend upon what SEEMS RIGHT TO MAN. We must place our trust in WHAT IS RIGHT, TO GOD. For, "there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." Now -- WHAT PATHWAY ARE YOU FOLLOWING TODAY ?? Are you sure that pathway is right?? There is a way that is right, and cannot be wrong. There is a pathway that leads to all the spiritual blessings you need ... A road that leads to heaven. Jesus said, "I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER, EXCEPT THROUGH ME," ().