Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and . . . teaches His way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great. Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He . . . shall dwell in prosperity . . . his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
God wants us to know that He loves us even when we fail and falter—but He doesn’t love the fact that we do. He is always there to extend mercy, but He also calls us to get up and walk in truth. What a precious thought! The word “sinners” in verse 8 describes all of us. But it’s only those who humble themselves who will receive the blessings of His justice, His way, His mercy, and His truth. Learning “His way” involves moving in the direction in which He shows us. Hosea writes, “For the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them” (Hosea 14:9).
It isn’t always easy to walk in God’s direction! Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 both say, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” The danger is very great if we don’t allow the Lord to lead us in His direction. And the humble are happy to follow Him.
David mentions those who fear the Lord (vv. 12, 14). God will teach them to go in the way He chooses, and His way is far superior to the paths we often choose. How much better to stay on His straight paths, headed in the right direction, building our lives around His Word, not around the world.
David writes of “dwell[ing] in prosperity” if we fear the Lord. This is something far greater than the prosperity the world offers. To have peace in one’s heart, to know where we’re going when we die, and that we can trust the Lord for everything, makes us rich far beyond any material blessings. God promises that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)!
It’s true that those who are going in God’s direction in humble fear of Him do so because they have a single source of direction for all things related to life and the Word of God. Remember, if you want to go in God’s direction, don’t be too proud to follow His ways and His plans. Your ideas are not better than His, and you don’t know what tomorrow will bring . . . or if there will even be one.
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