“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”
Proverbs 4:26, 27
Where will my path, or journey, take me? The writer brings us to the very logical and practical question, “If I continue to go in the direction I am pursuing today, will I be pleased with my destination?” The verses that immediately precede our Scripture cause us to consider the consequences of our lives by presenting this sequence: 1) keep your heart (Proverbs 4:23), 2) guard your words (Proverbs 4:24), 3) keep thine eyes looking forward (Proverbs 4:25). The next, and present challenge, has to do with the path of our feet. These components of our moral duty are presented as individual areas of responsibility that eventually influence each other and affect the final outcome of our journey. Our hearts affect our words and our eyes, and each will help to determine our direction.
In considering the counsel of Scripture, we are advised to deliberate. “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” We are to seriously think about our decisions and how they will affect our eventual destination. It is commonly true that people one day find themselves far from where they would like to be in life, and wonder how they ever arrived there. The simple answer is this: we have arrived where we are by following the path we have taken and by the choices we have made. These wise words exhort us to think about our steps and where they are leading us.
We are also instructed to make deliberate and wise choices, being resolved not to turn “to the right hand nor to the left.” There are many, and some very subtle, detours from the straight and narrow way of obedience. To turn in any direction, be it to the right or left, that is away from the path of holiness and obedience, is a step in the wrong direction. Small steps can lead to giant mistakes. Another area of caution concerning our path has to do with correction. The Bible tells us to “remove thy foot from evil.” Whenever we see that our feet are in the wrong place, we need to decisively and definitely change direction. The sooner we make these corrections or adjustments, the better we will be. God wants us to understand that our desires, words, visual focus, and decisions will determine where we end up in life.