the ways of man

white ship during golden hour

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 16, 25.

Everything will turn out all right

God told the prophet Jonah to go to Nineveh, but he scorned the order and decided to take the opposite direction. At the port he happened to find a ship about to leave for Tarshish. “Everything will turn out all right”, Jonah thought, but he was disobeying God! 

The apostle Paul was on his way to Rome. The weather made navigation dangerous and, on God’s behalf, Paul warned the sailors not to continue the voyage. “Everything will turn out all right”, the sailors thought and, ignoring the warning, raised the anchor. A violent storm arose soon afterwards, confirming Paul’s advice. They were shipwrecked (cf. Acts 27).

One could multiply examples in which circumstances that seemed favourable for a plan in fact led to a path of which God disapproved. How much more so when faith was missing! Judas’ betrayal of the Lord is a solemn example: he thought the time ripe for his plan, and delivered up his Master (cf. Luke 22, 6; Mark 14, 11). 

God can avail Himself of circumstances to direct His own. But it is through His Word, above all, that He reveals His will. If there is the risk that events will lead us on to a pathway that is contrary to the Word of God, let us take care! God never contradicts Himself. But Satan can take advantage of varying situations to seduce us to disobedience. And we are quick to interpret them as it suits us. For example, he will persuade a young Christian to marry an unbeliever, although God’s will is explicitly otherwise (cf. 2 Corinthians 6, 14). Will everything turn out all right? What does the Word of God say?