Proverbs 10:29 The way of the Lord is a refuge for the righteous,
but it is the ruin of those who do evil.
There is a seeming irony in this verse that is clarified only by the Gospel. It would seem that the way of the Lord would be good for everyone, but that doesn’t apply to those who refuse to follow it. We see protestations all the time that Biblical morality is “hateful” and “exclusionary.” The single distinguishing factor between the two types of people mentioned here is repentance. As Romans 3:23 says so clearly, everyone has sinned, so by rights, no one fits into the category of “the righteous.” (The Japanese says, “the innocent.”) However, the heart of the Gospel is that Jesus came to take the penalty for our sins, so that those who believe in Him receive His righteousness. It is only for those who refuse to repent and believe that the way of the Lord is ruin (or destruction, as the Japanese puts it). One issue is that of recognizing the way of the Lord. The devil does all he can to confuse and distract us, seeking to keep us from God’s way by accident rather than intent. That’s why we need to keep reading the Bible and praying daily, to avoid as many detours as possible. When we choose to abide in Christ, we indeed find refuge. (The Japanese says, “a fortress.”)
I’m preaching on “Hiding Place” this morning, which is closely related to this verse. As is often the case, God is giving me a practicum on the very thing He has me speaking on. The cause in this case isn’t sin but rather the fallibility of technology, but the desire to run away and hide is very real. My wife’s computer had a major problem that thankfully didn’t wipe out her data, but it did make her computer unusable for her. Connecting her hard drive to another computer on the network has enabled her to access her data, but with her medical issues she needs specific accessibility options which aren’t installed on the other computers. Not wanting to endanger her data has made the recovery/repair process take a long time, which is extremely frustrating for her and me both. Meanwhile, the world is not standing still, and other events and obligations come at us unabated. I am not to yield to the temptation to run, but know that I am secure in Christ no matter what is going on in the material world. It’s only been a matter of days since I was amazed at the super-abundance of God’s blessings! Those blessings have not evaporated, but I’ve been distracted from them. I need to choose to trust and follow God, asking for and receiving the wisdom I need for each moment, so that I won’t deviate from His way in my frustration.
Father, thank You for this further training. As it says in Hebrews 12, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11) May I continue to grow as You intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!