May 17, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 17 May 2016
The poem "The Ways" (written by William A. Dunkerly) uses poignant language to express the biblical truth that only two paths exist before each and every person.
To every man there openeth
A way and ways and a way;
And the high soul treads the high way,
And the low soul gropes the low;
And in between on the misty flats
The rest drift to and fro;
But to every man there openeth
A high way and a low;
And every man decideth
The way his soul shall go.
There are many various “ways” that each and every person encounters; yet, truly, there are only two paths: “the high way” and “the low.” Every person’s life, and ultimately his/her ultimate destiny is delineated by “the way his [or her] soul shall go.” One must choose wisely because decisions determine destinies, not only for the present but also for eternity.
Jesus exhorted His followers to take “the narrow way” as opposed to “the broad” that will lead to destruction (Matt 7:13-14). Psalm 1 distinguishes two paths of life: the walk (lifestyle) of the righteous (vv. 1-3) and the walk (lifestyle) of the unrighteous (vv. 4-6). If unheeded, the warnings with regard to the walk of the unrighteous will culminate in neglect of the Word of God, and ultimately to perishing in judgment. How tragic that anyone would perish when Jesus offers abundant life (John 10:10).
The righteous life is described as regulated by the Word of God. The attitude of the righteous individual is one of continual delight and constant meditation upon biblical truth. The enduring blessing of God is extended to those who pursue righteousness, and therefore is not a transient feeling; it is the result of participation in the divine life. The relationship of the righteous individual to the Word of God is not superficial. The righteous are not only redeemed according to God’s provision through the living Word, but also study the written Word to demonstrate themselves as approved servants of God.
The priority of the righteous for Scripture is because it reveals eternal truths, and therefore results in continual delight and constant meditation. God enjoys blessing his people, yet you and I must live in such a manner that we are able to be blessed. Discernment is essential to receive God's blessing. One must avoid the paths that lead to sin: either considering sin (walking), contemplating sin (standing), or being comfortable with sin (sitting).
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked” (Ps 1:1). One who walks the path of righteousness is blessed (literally, “happy”), that is, if his/her “walk” is not detained alongside the wicked. The verb “meditates” denotes the "seat of thinking,” and is therefore the functional equivalent for the activity of the mind. The walk of the righteous is “like a tree” planted firmly by its source of water. The believer is depicted as a tree, whereas the unbeliever is as chaff (Matt 3:12). The lifestyle of the righteous is characterized by blessing, yet the ungodly receive judgment.
There are three characteristics of the walk of the righteous that form a simile (v. 3). Permanence characterizes the righteous life. In contrast to chaff, which is easily blown and moved, a tree is permanent. Unlikely to be moved by adverse winds, a tree stands firm and stationary. Secondly, the righteous life is characterized by productivity. The tree is productive in yielding fruit by season. Trees produce their fruit regularly not haphazardly. The righteous individual is therefore characterized by consistency in his/her manner of living, which is the result of meditating (thinking deeply) upon the Word of God to direct your life and to produce godly maturity. Lastly, the righteous life is characterized by prosperity. The success of those who walk a righteous life is attributed to the fact that he/she lives in accordance with the purpose and will of God. As the godly individual depends upon the resources of God's grace, he or she is able to bear fruit because God's life is at work within the believer.
Every person must ask the soul-searching question, "What life am I living?" One walk leads to blessedness and permanence, and the other to ruin. The Word of God requires one to determine the manner of his/her life accurately and carefully. The genuineness of the life of the righteous is proved by one's spiritual character and actions. The prayer of this ministry is for God to direct you to the path of his blessedness, and to establish and equip you in any way we are able that will result in maturity in your "walk" with the gracious Lord.
Your Capitol Missionary,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
P.S.! Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.