Friday, June 10, 2011

Paths of Righteousness ~ DEVO 3, Psalm 23

For the second time in the first three verses of this Psalm, David uses the word, leads.  The first leading came beforeHe restores my soul”.  This leading comes after.  I think the order is significant.

The first leading is by still waters.  This leading is an inner leading.  It ministers to me, to my soul.  I don’t think of it as a directional leading rather a spiritual leading.  I hear God’s word speaking to my heart.

The second leading is in “paths of righteousness”.  This leading gives direction and moral guidance.  I think of God whispering, “your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it”.  Isaiah 30:21. 

I find it interesting that the word “paths” is plural.  There must be more than one possible path of righteousness.  One commentator suggested that this means that some paths lead down and some lead up. That would be easy for me to illustrate with stories from my life and the lives of my friends. 

This was a very hard path for me.  I was engaged and had asked two girlfriends to be bridesmaids.  They said yes ~ at first.  Then they backed out.  I was very hurt. And our friendship was damaged as well. But that very hard path led to a wonderful path.  It took a few years, but God allowed those relationships to be healed.  My friendship with those girls today is more special because of the hard path we traveled together.  The healing path was definitely a path leading up.

So was the down path a path of righteousness?  It certainly did not seem so at the time.  However if it wasn’t for the down path, the up path would not have happened and that path was a path of righteousness.  The two were connected. 

And the paths of righteousness are not about me. My friendship with my friends now is a bonus.  The paths are for “His name sake.”  They are designed to lift God up, to honor Him.  God is definitely honored in the reconciliation of His children.  And my friends and I are able to display His glory because we followed His paths.

“True to your word,
You let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”
Psalm 23:3, The Message

To be continued

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