The Way Of...
By: Brian A. Yeager
Some time ago I was preparing for a class and was considering a phrase I read. The phrase is, “the way of righteousness.” Here are the verses wherein we find this phrase: “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment… In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death… The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness… For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him… For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them” (Proverbs 8:20, Proverbs 12:28, Proverbs 16:31, Matthew 21:32, and II Peter 2:21).
In each of the verses you read, you can study the contexts and see that they are different. The one thing they have in common is that phrase. It is obvious to us, who study the Bible often, what the phrase means. This article is not going to try and make a simple matter difficult. Christians know we are supposed to be righteous people (Acts 10:35, I Corinthians 15:34, Titus 2:11-14, and I John 3:7-10), as we are enabled to be through Christ (Philippians 1:11 and Philippians 3:9).
We should also know that there is only one way that leads to salvation. That way is through our Savior. Jesus said: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). We should also know that there are many more people on the wrong way. The word of God says: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Now, here is where our little study is going to take a turn. We have covered the obvious and to continue to talk about what we should realize would be a waste of time. Thus, I want you to take a journey that I took for your pleasure of study. Consider this, if there is “the way of righteousness”, what other ways are there?
Notice some of the “other ways” as recorded in the Old Testament: “And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin… And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin… And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin… And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD… So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon… 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… I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches… Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness… That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous… I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths… Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men… Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding… He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth… Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them… For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying… Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee… For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart” (I Kings 15:26, I Kings 15:34, I Kings 22:52, II Kings 8:18, II Chronicles 11:17, Psalms 1:1, Psalms 119:14, Proverbs 2:13, Proverbs 2:20, Proverbs 4:14, Proverbs 9:6, Proverbs 10:17, Proverbs 22:5, Isaiah 8:11, Isaiah 26:8, and Isaiah 57:17).
Notice some of the “other ways” as recorded in the New Testament: “And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men… To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace… Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved… Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance… This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly… But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets… And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of… Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core” (Matthew 22:16, Luke 1:79, Luke 8:12, Acts 2:28, Acts 18:25-26, Acts 24:14, II Peter 2:2, and Jude 11).
We have seen that there are many ways. Yet, we have the “way of the Lord” (II Kings 21:22, II Chronicles 17:6, and Hosea 14:9) that we should walk in (I John 2:3-6). If there is any other way, which cannot be seen in the way of the Lord, we should steer clear of it. That is true if that way “seems right” (Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25). We should understand that God has given one way for our good (cf. Jeremiah 32:39). Enter in and stay in “the way” (John 10:1-18)!
Volume 14 – Issue 20 - February 2nd, 2014