Solomon urges his son in today’s proverbs (Proverbs 14:11-12) to consider the journey’s end of two paths—the path of the righteous and the path of the sinner.
Proverbs 14:11 – “The house [family; household] of the wicked [ungodly] shall be overthrown[destroyed; perish]: but the tabernacle[family; tent, dwelling] of the upright [righteous; just] shall flourish [grow; spread; break forth in blossoms].”
Every path has its destination and reward. Solomon observed that the path of the ungodly invites God’s judgment and their families’ bear the consequences of sinful choices. Validating Solomon’s parable is the heartache and expense of divorce in our nation. Infidelity and a spirit of promiscuity have led to nearly 50% of marriages ending in divorce. The litigation of marital conflicts has enriched law firms while impoverishing American families.
While the path of the wicked destroys his family, the path of the righteous is blessed and his family, like a fruit-bearing tree in full bloom that promises much fruit, grows and prospers. Using the metaphor of a fruit-bearing tree, King David identified in Psalm 1:1-3 the qualities in a man’s life that God blesses:
Psalm 1:1-3 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Continuing the analogy of a man’s path and destination, Solomon writes:
Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way [journey; course; road] which seemeth [appears] right [upright; straight] unto a man, but the end [of that way, journey, road] thereof are the ways [journey; course; road] of death [leads and ends with death].”
A path of sin is the normal, natural bent for unsaved man. While secular psychiatrists and liberals reason that environmental influences contribute to the proclivity of a man for sin, crime and violence, Solomon states it is the sinner’s nature. Man chooses the way of sin because he fails to discern it is the journey to his death.
The Apostle Paul described the spiritual poverty of man before God in Romans 3.
Romans 3:10-12 – “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
I close with a word of invitation. All men are sinners by nature and the inclination of our hearts is to choose the path of sin that ends in death and separation from God. However, there is hope in a promise extended to all sinners who are willing to accept God’s offer of salvation and forgiveness of sin—Eternal life through the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
If you would like to know more about God’s gift of salvation, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith