“The Way That Leads To Death“
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“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Late Thursday afternoon I stopped by the Old Windmill Farm to pick up our friend Jesse since we were joining with a group to attend a banquet together. He shared about a big fire on a neighboring farm that happened the day before where he was one of the first on the scene. 60 head of cattle, rescued from the fire, are temporarily fenced on Jesse’s property. We drove over to take a look at the sad aftermath and looked on as workers were busily cleaning up after the fire. When Jesse spotted the farmer we approached him and spoke for a few minutes. He still appeared to be in shock.
Jesse told me why they had transported the cows over to his place during the fire. The cows kept trying to get into the barn even though it was burning down! Apparently this is not unusual for animals in distress. They were so accustomed to going in the barn that they were determined, due to their fear, though the heat and flames should have driven them in the opposite direction. (After all, farm animals don’t do fire drills.) It took quite an effort by about 15 individuals to keep pushing them back until they could be loaded on a truck to transport them to Jesse’s farm.
Well, as he shared the details about his moving experience, I knew there must be some spiritual lesson here! We discussed it as we drove over to the Shady Maple. At the banquet I told my friend Mark about it and he suggested the daily text. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death”. Bingo!
Getting back in the barn, a very familiar place, would be normal for the cows. It seemed the right thing to do, but it most certainly would have led to their deaths. They were surely annoyed at the humans working hard to keep them out.
An interesting aspect of our daily verse is that it’s repeated twice verbatim in the book of Proverbs (14:12 and 16:25). It seems that the Holy Spirit wants to make doubly sure that we absolutely get this one! It’s a clear and straightforward saying with an enduring truth. Indeed there are many ways that seem right to man. Our world is full of these other “ways.”
A deadly infection is wreaking havoc on our society as God, His Word, and His standards are maligned and rejected. Mankind raises a defiant fist to God declaring, “I’ll do it my way”. But God will not be mocked and mankind reaps what it sows, including many who choose to do things their own way though Scripture teaches otherwise. (Galatians 6:7-9).
The Benson Commentary states concerning our daily text, “There are some evil actions or courses which men may think to be lawful and good, either through gross ignorance, or self-flattery, or through want of necessary diligence in examining them by the rule of God’s word.”
The spirit of lawlessness is growing rapidly in our time. Here in America we are dealing with issues practically unimaginable a generation ago (or for that matter, even twenty years ago!) These issues signal a return to the turbulent biblical period of the Judges when the people became their own authority and acted on their own opinions of right and wrong. The writer portrays the spiritual climate with these words: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). It is also descriptive of our own time period today.
“But in the end it leads to death.”
We pray that God will give you clear discernment to understand the times and a firm resolve to remain faithful to God and His ways. In a remarkable prophetic statement in Daniel 12:10 we read, “The wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.”
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we know there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. That’s why we cannot choose a man based law, one that suits our wishes, or one that stands in contrast to the Bible. We cannot make choices based solely on familiarity or our upbringing, for it may lead us to a spiritual death where we will ultimately spend eternity apart from You and all the untold blessings You have awaiting us in heaven. So we come to You in faith, through Christ, the fountain of life. Amen.
Brooksyne’s Note: As I edited the message today I thought about the helpful volunteers who were vigorously shooing the cows away from the flames. They were trying to save them from death but appeared as a threat to them instead. It made me think of biblical street preachers who are trying to point people in the right direction and those of us who attempt to show unbelievers the way to eternal life. When we tell them of Christ and the salvation He provides it usually goes against their normal way of thinking about how to get right with God. They consider us a threat to their own paths, familiar paths, or that which they learned from their upbringing. But we must remain true to the Word, even if it goes against the grain of conventional thinking, and let them know, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:12, 27).
The barn fire was on the Verdant View Bed & Breakfast farm which also gives tours. This is a distant scene across the Strasburg railroad tracks taken yesterday afternoon. The Old Windmill Farm is behind us in this photo. Interestingly, Jesse’s Old Windmill Farm also gives tours but is distinctive in that it is Amish. The Verdant View Farm are “English” farm owners.
Yes, he is really riding this tiny bike!!! He’s sure in a lot better shape than most of us! Not only has he owned a bike shop for many, many years he must surely bike alot to keep his body this flexible.
Last night we attended a banquet for a ministry we really value called “Associates For Biblical Research” that takes a strong stand for the absolute reliability of the Scriptures. In the photo is my older brother (left), a retired pastor from the Lehigh Valley, longtime friend Mark, a hospice chaplain, and new friend Marco, a church planter (right).
“Every Saint” Video Guy Penrod This song has a great message
News article about the barn fire from our local paper (Note: I am not sure how long this article will be posted)
Verdant View Farm website (At the time we posted this message their site has not been updated to report the fire.