“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.” Prov. 4:18-19 NIV
There are two paths described in the passage above, the shining path and the dark path. The Bible says the dark path is a path of wickedness. Many people will read that and decide that such sins as murder, homosexuality, adultery and theft rank as wickedness. But the word wicked is synonymous with twisted. You might think of the twisted form of wicker which is used to make wicker furniture. Wickedness is taking truth and twisting it to fit our paradigm or viewpoint. We as Christians must take the truth of God’s Word at face value. We must read it to receive revelation or shine light into our lives. We must not read it in order to excuse sin. In actuality, you can take Bible scriptures out of context and twist it to say whatever you want it to say. The goal of believers, however, is to read God’s Word and let it change our thinking and correct our lifestyle.
Have you ever tripped over something in the dark? You didn’t even realize it was in your path. Notice the person who walks the wicked path doesn’t even know what makes him stumble. He cannot see obvious obstacles in his way. What a frustrating way to live. There are people who live year after year stumbling in the dark. And things will not change if the light is not turned on.
In contrast, “the path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” So who are the righteous? The Bible says it those who are in right standing with God. Righteous people are not perfect people who never make mistakes. If you have made Jesus Lord of your life, you qualify. You are righteous. Righteousness is not based on what you have done in your past. It is based on what you are allowing God to do in you today. Do you daily walk in a confidence that Jesus paid for your sin and will continue to work in your life? That is righteousness.