Ponder the Path of Thy Feet
Ponder the path of thy feet
1. Ponder = to weigh, make level, balance
a. The idea is that we should weigh carefully every step we take.
b. Weigh/balance = ancient scales; we should weigh every step against the knowledge of the known will of God in His Word.
c. There are snares and traps and stumbling blocks all along the way. It is vital to PONDER the path of our feet!
d. Ps. 39:1 – I will take heed to my ways…
• Take heed = to watch or be a watchman.
• That’s how we ought to be with our feet—watch where we are headed!
2. It is a good thing to THINK about where we are headed… the pathway that lies ahead… where each step will lead and what will be the consequences or ramifications of taking that step.
• If I take that new job, how will it affect my family? My service in the local church? My spiritual life? My ability to witness?
• Is joining that sports league going to be good for my family spiritually? How will it impact my family? Will it lead to something else?
• Am I taking on too many ministries in the local church? Am I working too many hours at my job? How will this affect my family and me?
• If we are not careful about where we are headed spiritually, we could end up HURTING ourselves… or our family… or other believers.
3. Sometimes much time goes by, and we seem to just drift through life being carried along by circumstances that seem beyond our control.
• If we don’t stop and think about where we are headed, we WILL just drift along.
• Thinking is one of the major ways that God leads us!
• When we THINK about our life and actions we should then THINK about what the Bible says…
• It is a good idea to sit back and observe the whole course and direction of our life.
• Where have we been headed for the last few years? Were there some steps I should not have taken? Did I neglect to take some steps I should have?
• Have I even given any thought to where I am headed? What am I doing with my life?
• Have I been serving God the way He intends, or have I just be drifting and wasting God’s time?
4. Ps. 119:59 – I thought on my ways, and TURNED! Sometimes thinking produces some radical changes in our life!
• Sometimes that’s all it takes!
• It’s like a look in the mirror. When we are busy with the activities of the day, we might forget to look at our face in the mirror—only to discover later that we have a big smear of grease.
• Sometimes all it takes is a look… Solomon wants us to take the time to THINK about the path of our feet… where our life is headed… what our goals are… what we are aiming for…
5. The paths of thy feet
a. Vs.11 – Solomon told his son that he has led him in “right” paths. (straight; right)
b. Every father wants his son to walk down the right paths in life. Nothing is more disheartening than to see a beloved son make foolish decisions and choose paths that are not good spiritually.
c. Are we as fathers leading our children down the right paths? Setting a godly example for them to follow?
6. Prov. 4:18 – the path of the just is a shining light!
a. In this text, Solomon likens the path of the godly man to the rising of the sun… a glorious sunrise!
b. It begins as the shining light—the first ray of light over the horizon that dispels the darkness of the night.
c. Then the sun shines more and more—brighter and brighter until the perfect day … until the day is complete…
• Perfect = firm; fixed; established; ready
• The perfect day speaks of a day that has been fully established… no more dawning but brilliant daylight!
d. As a father, Solomon wanted his son to choose the right path in life… and to stay off dead end streets.
e. Prov. 2:13, 15 – what a contrast to the path of the wicked!
7. What is the difference between ending up on the path of the just and ending up on the path of the wicked?
a. Often it is just a wrong step or two that were never corrected.
b. It starts off as one little step… then two… and the road seems to run parallel to the straight and narrow for a while…
c. The foolish man who takes that step might be admonished by a concerned brother, “Hey, you have stepped off the straight and narrow! You should come on back!!” — to which he replies, “You people are so picky! What’s the big deal? I’m only a few steps away. Mind your own business—don’t be such a legalist!”
let all thy ways be established.
1. Established: to be firm, be stable, be established; to be directed aright, be fixed aright, be steadfast (moral sense)
» When we stop to THINK and ponder the path of our feet, our ways WILL be established… fixed aright… directed aright…
2. We should not dare to take one step unless that step has been established as right…
a. Josh. 9:14-15 – Joshua was fooled by the Gibeonites BECAUSE he failed to take it to the Lord in prayer!
» Then Joshua and his people had to LIVE with that mistake!
» Later, the Gibeonites were attacked, and because they were Joshua’s servants, Joshua was obliged to risk the lives of his men to defend them!
b. How many wrong steps have WE taken because we moved before we were sure it was the right thing to do?
» Sometimes the wrong steps we take in life have consequences that stick with us a long time… like the Gibeonites.
» How much better to ponder the path of our feet and make sure that our ways are established BEFORE we make a move!
3. Prov. 3:6 – in all our ways we are to acknowledge God and He will direct our paths. If the Lord will we will do this or that!
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left:
1. This is to be linked to verse 25. His eyes were to look straight ahead.
a. First he fixes his eyes on the goal, then he heads straight for it.
b. Like the plowman who cuts a straight row by keeping his eyes on a distant target… and walking straight toward it.
c. After one has set his goal, he is to aim for it—without swerving to the right or the left.
d. As a Christian, we are to set our eyes on the Lord and keep on walking straight toward Him. (Heb. 12:1-2)—looking unto Jesus—RUN!
e. When our eyes are focused on Christ in glory—when our affections are on things above—when we are constantly looking unto Jesus, then our walk will be on the straight and narrow…
2. Gen. 39:7-9 – Joseph PONDERED this step… and refused to turn to the right or the left.
a. He was tempted to lie with a beautiful woman…
b. BUT—he pondered this temptation—and thought about the ramifications.
c. He reasoned that it would be a real disgrace to his master… and after all, his master had treated him so well!
d. By being faithful thus far, he had done quite well. He had become steward over all in his master’s house, and there was none greater!
e. But most importantly, it would be a sin against God! (vs. 9c)
f. He pondered that step and decided to REFUSE! (vs. 8a)
g. Pondering the path of our feet will keep us out of a lot of trouble and will enable us to avoid a lot of heartache.
h.) David came across a similar temptation and did not ponder the path of his feet—and he paid dearly for it!
i. David chose to act on his feelings at the moment. Joseph chose to THINK first.
remove thy foot from evil.
1. When one is genuinely concerned about his “ways”, he is going to turn away from evil in any form.
2. In walking on the straight and narrow, there will be some crosses to bear… suffering involved.
a. The temptation is always to step OFF the straight and narrow to avoid it.
b. But that always involves evil—it is evil to turn to the right or the left.
c. Solomon tells his son to remove his foot from evil—don’t take any steps that would involve sin—or lead toward sin. Stay away, even if there is a price to pay!
3. It is possible that if we choose to depart from the straight and narrow, and embark on a wrong path, others might imitate that evil!
a. Our actions can be a stumbling block to ourselves and to others who are watching.
b. Gal. 2:11-14 – Peter stepped out of line, and caused others to follow.
4. We should PRAY like David did that God would cause us to know the way to walk… (Ps. 143:8-10)
» Pray that we should KNOW where and how to walk. (vs. 8)
» Pray for deliverance from enemies and wrong paths. (vs. 9)
» Seek God’s will and the leading of the Spirit in every move we make. (vs. 10)
5. Prov. 5:21 – The Lord is pondering all of our ways and goings!
a. We had better do the same!