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Early in the 20th century, Robert Frost wrote a poem called “The Road Not Taken.” Many know its famous last line – “two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” This is often quoted to reference how we should make decisions in life that, although difficult and unpopular, will end positively. Ironically, earlier in the poem Frost notes that both paths are essentially the same. He looks back on his decision to take a certain road with a sigh and seems to realize that they really both would have led to good outcomes. I wonder, is this true in life? Will we end up in the same place no matter how we live? And does it actually matter what choices we make?
God’s Word makes it clear that it does matter how we live our day-to-day lives. This is spelled out in Psalm 1 where two “roads,” or “ways,” are described. One is the “way of sinners” (v. 1) and the other is the “way of the righteous” (v. 6). These are not physical paths, but spiritual ones that reflect our life choices. These ways do not end in the same place, or with the same outcome.
Verse one states that “blessed” is the person who does not order his/her life around the advice and lifestyle of wicked. The “wicked,” also referred to as “sinners” and “scoffers,” are continually doing evil, ridiculing God, and rejecting him. However, they will not prosper in the end, as they will be blown away by the wind (v. 4), and unable to withstand God’s judgment (v. 5).
On the other hand, the righteous person orders their lives around God’s commands and will. They take delight in God’s law and they meditate on it day and night (v. 2). Therefore, they will be fruitful and prosper in God’s kingdom and by his blessings (v. 3).
We will often face choices in life that test our devotion to God. Some choices may look very attractive, but if they are not in accordance with his commands, they will lead to nothing but heartache and destruction. Others may look difficult, but if they are honoring to God, they will lead to joy and life. Faithful followers of Jesus always walk down roads that delight in his Word!
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