There are certain texts of the Scripture that just stand out as being pivotal verses and crucial to the Christian faith. Perhaps verses like Psalm 23:1, John 3:16, John 14:6, or Romans 5:8 come to your mind as verses like this. Those verses are able to stand out in virtual isolation and communicate great truth on their own.
This verse holds some incredible truth for every believer to ponder, no matter the age or gender.
God’s Ways and False Ways
Psalm 119 is all about God’s Word. Nearly every verse speaks about it in some way. The word “precepts” is a synonym for God’s Word. It means specifically God’s mandates.This is put into contrast with every false way. False ways are those which are untrue, deceptive, or a sham. We are confronted, then, with a contrast between God’s mandates and false ways.
We are left to draw some basic conclusions about this contrast. False ways are those that are not in keeping with God’s precepts. In other words, there are things in life that we face all the time. We hear things; we think things; we view things; we experience things; we learn things. There must be some kind of evaluation made by us as to whether those things are in keeping with God’s precepts, or not.
This contrast should be intentionally considered. The reason for this is, at the very least, because we live in a world where the lines between right and wrong are trying to be blurred, or erased altogether. Issues of morality are becoming fewer and fewer; while “tolerance” and “acceptance” are being trumpeted more and more. Even within Christianity, many immoral practices are being excused and shoved under the umbrella of God’s grace. Yet those practices are against God’s Word. They are not in conformity to God’s ways.
Just because something is not explicitly stated in the Scriptures as evil, immoral, or sinful does not mean that God does not have an opinion on them. There is an expectation that we will be able to discern God’s mind on those issues, based not on an explicit command or prohibition, but based on the general character of God our Father. This evaluation process is important in our Spiritual growth. God does not desire us to simply rest on the explicit commands or prohibitions, but to think critically and biblically through all of life’s issues, based on the truths and principles of God’s Word.
Immaturity requires an explicit command or prohibition; maturity takes truths, principles, historical examples, and the general character of God and makes critical and biblical applications to all of life’s issues. Failure to think critically and biblically leads to simply thinking emotionally. When our emotions are allowed to rule our decisions, we are on a track that leads to disaster. When we allow God’s Word (both explicit commands/prohibitions, as well as general truth/principles) to rule our hearts, there is safety.
There is a difference between God’s ways and false ways. We as God’s people must be able to discern and evaluate the differences, both in the clear areas, as well as in the “not so clear.” No area of life is outside of the control, governance, and care of God. This evaluation, though, necessitates a response, which is what we will consider in the next post.