THE WAY THAT SEEMETH RIGHT
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof is death.
This same parable is repeated in Proverbs 16:25. Why it is repeated is not stated. Possibly because it is full of sound advice to the reader. There are many other illustrations found in the Bible that refer to the way as the path one chooses to travel during life here on earth. There is generally a contrast that compares one way that leads to life and another way that leads to death. Sometimes these comparisons refer to physical life and physical death and other times they compare spiritual life to spiritual death. Also, they generally compare a way chosen through the wisdom of God and a way mankind chooses through human wisdom. The lesson text seems to fit these descriptions of the way chosen by each of us in our journey through life.
We must all take the responsibility for the way we are traveling. Although we may receive ill advice or bad directions, in the end, we are responsible for the destination we reach. Maybe we don't seek advice in the right place. Should you ask a fellow passenger directions while passing through an unknown town? Or would it be better to ask a person that has lived a lifetime in the town you are passing through? Naturally, you would search and heed the advice of the person that had the most knowledge of the area and you would be more certain of reaching your destination. When seeking advice, we should look for the one that has the most wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, as our guide along our pathway of life.
For purposes of this lesson, let us look at the text as the way that leads to heaven and eternal life and compare it to the way that leads to hell and eternal death. If this option were placed before each of us today, which way would we choose? It is probably unanimous, that we would choose the way that would lead to heaven and to eternal life. Why, then, do most people end up choosing the way that leads to eternal death? The answer is found in the lesson text - because the way we chose seemeth right. We may think we are headed in the right direction to reach Heaven and eternal life, but we may very well be headed in the opposite direction.
The successful conclusion of our journey through life depends on where, or to whom, we go to find guidance and directions. To most of the world today, the way one chooses to live doesn't matter. Most feel that any way we choose to travel is the right way. Some, if not most men and women, think that God doesn't exist and there is no heaven or hell - that there is no eternal life or eternal death after life on earth ends. These people feel that God did not provide a way to heaven and eternal life through his Son, Jesus Christ. These choose to rely on the wisdom of mankind and not the wisdom of God to direct their journey. This way that seemeth right to man will, generally, lead to eternal death. Others may accept God as their Creator, and understand that there is another life after the one here on earth. They may believe that there is a heaven and a hell. But most of these will also choose the wrong way by relying on directions based on mankind's "spiritual" wisdom rather than the wisdom of God.
How do we know that most people in the world are traveling the wrong pathway here on earth? Because the Son of God, the one sent as the Savior of mankind, tells us it will be so. The best advice we can ever have is found in the lessons taught by Jesus in, what is known as, His Sermon on the Mount. This is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters five through seven, and should be used as our roadmap to heaven. In His Sermon on the Mount we find Jesus telling the multitude as well as us today, about the two ways of life that we can travel during our life's sojourn here on earth. Jesus says, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because, strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matt. 7:13-14). The wrong way that leads to destruction is wide; it encompasses all of the varied directions for us to travel based on worldly wisdom. The right way that leads to eternal life is narrow. It is God's way; and His directions, as found in the New Testament, are based on His wisdom. We are living in God's world. We are His creation. Heaven and hell are our options. God's way is restricted and narrow. It requires obedience to His will. It requires that we give up the way that seemeth right to people of the world. Desiring heaven, doesn't God's way seemeth right to you?