Yesterday, after reading in Proverbs 4, I wrote a bit on how important it is to keep our eyes focused on where our feet are stepping and where we want them to go. Even if we are to heed wisdom’s call to pursue her, there will be ample opportunity to get distracted and detoured by the alluring call of sin. Thus, says Solomon, we need to “ponder the path” of our feet (4:25). This morning, in Proverbs 5, I read of Someone else who ponders the same thing.
Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a mans ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his paths. (Proverbs 5:20-21 ESV)
The story goes that when the Alaska Canada highway was built back in the 1960s, before it was fully paved as it is now, at a junction on the highway there was a sign which read “Choose your rut carefully, you will be in it for the next 200 miles.” If I’m understanding my Bible helps correctly, that’s kind of the idea of the “paths” that are being talked about in Proverbs. The word literally means, “entrenchment.” The idea is that of track that you get locked into.
Thus, says Proverbs, we need to be careful about being drawn into paths, or entrenchments, of wickedness. In Proverbs 5, the “follow me” sign into the ruts of evil are pictured as “the lips of a forbidden woman” dripping with honey and her sultry speech, “smoother than oil” (5:3). “Keep away from her,” says Wisdom, “do not go near the door of her house” (5:8). Choose your rut carefully, you’ll be in it for a long time.
And so, in yesterday’s reading, the exhortation was to “ponder the path of your feet.” This morning I’m reminded that I’m not the only one watching my feet . . . that I’m not the only one who is focused on the ruts I choose.
For a mans ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his paths. (Proverbs 5:21 ESV)
God ponders my paths too. The roads I choose are laid bare before the God of heaven. He’s aware of every step I take. The ruts I’m in are not hidden from the eyes of the LORD. In fact, writes David, the LORD searches out my path . . . knows when I sit down and when I rise up . . . discerns my thoughts from afar . . . is acquainted with all my ways (Ps. 139:2-3). And if this true, and I believe it is, the fact that God ponders all my paths is motivation for me to ponder them too.
Motivation 1 . . . the fear of the LORD. It’s the fear that darkness has of light. The fear that comes from being exposed and naked. The fear that causes us to hide and to seek to find some way to cover ourselves because the rut of our sinfulness cannot bear the scrutiny of His holy presence.
But perhaps greater than Motivation 1, is Motivation 2 . . . not wanting to be found entrenched in a path which shames the Name of the One who saved me. Having been redeemed with the precious blood of the Son of God, not wanting to pursue any road which communicates a lack of gratitude for my redemption. Having been rescued from slavery to sin, not wanting the tracks I settle in to indicate that I am anyone, or anything else’s servant, other than the servant of the Lord Jesus.
Knowing that He ponders my path spurs me on, by the goodness of His abundant grace and the power of His Holy Spirit, to want to walk in a manner worthy of my calling.
That by God’s grace I might pick the ruts of righteousness . . . that I might choose the tracks that lead to heavenly treasure . . . that I might be entrenched in the eternal pursuit of the kingdom.
He ponders my paths. To Him be all glory.