After I cracked a joke in my high school history class, my teacher Mr. Beaeden turned around and started drawing on the board. He wasn’t very good at drawing, but it didn’t take long to realize he was depicting a forked road with a stick-figure version of myself at the juncture. He said, “You can go this way, Rusty, and find a wife, job, and a good life. Or you can go this other way and find heartache and sorrow.”
Solomon agrees with Mr. Beaeden: there are two paths laid out before us. The first way is to choose wisdom—it is a straight, smooth path suited for running unencumbered. That path leads to life and goodness. That path is free and open to all who would heed wisdom’s cry. That path “is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day” (v. 18).
The other path is to follow wickedness (v. 19). This choice includes violence and evil, the very opposite of loving God and loving neighbor. That path, we know from earlier in Proverbs and likely from our own lives, can often seem enticing. It looks like fun times, easy money, and unbridled power. Solomon—and the rest of Scripture—wants us to understand that the wicked way is an illusion, a lie meant to trap us. To follow in that way “is deep darkness,” Solomon warns (v. 19).
The good news is that while we all start on that wicked path, God has a rescue plan. Even “while we were still sinners,” Romans 5:8 tells us, “Christ died for us.” Turning to Christ requires our lives, but Christ promises eternal life with Him! He has made a way for each of us to follow the path of righteousness.
>> If you imagine yourself standing at that fork in the road, which path are you choosing? Have you decided to follow God? If not, ask Him to forgive you, turn from your sins, and follow Christ as your Savior.
We want to exchange the life we have for the life You promise, Father. We repent of our sins and confess that Jesus is Your Son. Wash us in the blood of Christ and grant us eternal life in Your presence.