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Life - A Series of Decisions We All Must Make

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Life A Series of Decisions We All Must Make

Proverbs 16: 25 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. (NLT)

Life is a series of decisions we all must make. Those decisions determine our daily lives, our future endeavors, and our eternal destination. Many factors go into our decision making process but none remain vital except what God has to say about it. Proverbs 16: 25 is a popular saying that we all may have heard before but not necessarily reflected upon.

There is always a path before each person that seems right. It appears right to us. It may appear logical. It may appear to have the wisdom of men. All of our friends may agree it seems right. The experts of this world may agree that it seems right. But appearances can be deceiving. Often times our decision making can leave God out of the picture. The Book of Romans teaches us:

Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! Romans 11: 33 (NLT)

There is a story in the Book of 2Kings that highlights the decision making process we all must face. To rely on the path that appears right versus the unfathomable wisdom of God. It seems the King of Aram had a commander of his armies named Naaman. He was a mighty warrior for the king but had a problem. He was suffering from leprosy. His wife was a young girl from Israel who knew that the prophet Elisha could heal him. But when Naaman came to the home of Elisha, the instructions he received from the prophet were to wash seven times in the Jordan River. This path , even though it came as a word from the servant of God, did not seem right to Naaman:

But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage. 2Kings 5: 11-12

Naaman clearly had his own idea in mind for what his deliverance should be. He had a way that would have seemed right to him. His pride interferes and he starts comparing the rivers of his home town to the Jordan. Of course it wasn't about the Jordan River it was about being obedient to God:

Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. 2Kings 5: 13-14

The wisdom of Naaman assumed how his deliverance should come. He had a path before him that seemed right to him. Logically, what difference does the river make? If that was all it would take to cure the leprosy, he could have done so in the rivers of his homeland. The path his rage wanted to lead him down however would not lead to his cure and would only lead to more suffering. Thankfully, his servants pointed him back to the path God had laid out for him and he was cleansed. If the story ended here, we would have been taught these valuable lessons but God wanted to reinforce it. Now we see more insight into the thought process man often faces:

After Naaman had traveled some distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself , "My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him." So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. "Is everything all right?" he asked. "Everything is all right," Gehazi answered. "My master sent me to say, 'Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.'" 2Kings 5: 19-22

Look at the thought process of Gehazi. This is the same trap we fall into as well. We think we know better. After Naaman was healed he offered gifts but Elisha refused. To Gehazi this was a mistake. It is a logical assumption. Elisha had provided a great service for Naaman and healed him of one of the most feared conditions of the day. Naaman willingly offered gifts. Gehazi had a path before him that appeared right. It seemed correct to him. But as we see, after Gehazi accepts the presents Elisha would not, it only led to death:

When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, where have you been, Gehazi?" "Your servant didn't go anywhere," Gehazi answered. But Elisha said to him, "Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes--or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? Naaman's leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever." Then Gehazi went from Elisha's presence and his skin was leprous--it had become as white as snow. 2Kings 5: 25-27

Naaman had a path before him that was full of human wisdom. He chose the path of God instead and was healed. Gehazi had a path before him that was also filled with human wisdom and he chose it only to suffer the same fate as the healed Aramean. Remember that whatever wisdom we may think we have, God is always far above it:

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1Corinthians 1: 25

Early in the reign of King Saul, we would again see poor choices lead down the path of destruction. Saul was the first King of Israel and chosen by God through the Prophet Samuel. But after some early successes, Saul finds himself in a dire situation:

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