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A Straight Way Before Me
The ancients used the term “upright” or “straight” not just in the physical sense, but also in the moral. When something remained “unbent” or “un-crooked,” it followed the design which the Creator God had given it. The problem for humanity then was that we continually followed a winding path instead of a straight one, and all of us have become warped by this disordered world in which we live.
Often the psalmists present things in black and white terms—there are the righteous and the wicked and everyone falls distinctly into one category or the other. The problem we have realized in our own day is that righteous people can act wickedly and wicked people can act righteously; there is no clear delineation. But we must not confuse what the psalmist is saying. In Psalm 5, though he recognizes that God does not “take pleasure in evil” (v. 4) and hates “all who do wrong” (v. 5), he also acknowledges that he himself is a sinner—it is only by God’s “great mercy” that he is allowed to come into God’s house (v. 7). That is the goal for the psalmist (and for us), to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. In order to do so, God is the only one who can lay a straight path before us, which is why the center (or heart) of the psalm is verse 8, “Lead me, O YHWH, in your righteousness because of my enemies—make straight your way before me.”
To find our way in this world and to model our heavenly Father, we must walk the straight way he has laid out in his word. We must fix our eyes on Jesus, who walked the straight way of the cross in order to lead us back to God. And we must resist the temptations of this world which try to lead us down crooked paths and warp our souls.
Walk in the Spirit, Beloved of God, and may God himself walk with us.
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