It used to take the steady eye and the firm hand of a farmer to drive a tractor or combine down straight rows. But even the best eyes would overlap some, and by end of day even the strongest hands would be fatigued.
Now there’s Autosteer. It’s a GPS-based technology that allows for accuracy to within one inch when planting, cultivating, or spraying. It’s incredibly efficient, and it’s hands-free. Just imagine sitting in a mammoth combine and instead of gripping the wheel, you’re gripping a roast beef sandwich. And you’re still going straight!
We have in our hands another GPS, built by our Creator and designed to make us able to go straight. All we have to do is USE it. There’s a learning curve—it won’t make our paths straight the first time we try it. But God’s people have used it for centuries and proven that, properly used, they go STRAIGHT!
We want straight rows in our garden of virtue, straight paths to life? Then we need to take this GPS device and practice, practice, practice. The product is guaranteed, and when we master it, it will keep us going STRAIGHT, straight for the Kingdom!
I’m thinking of a passage in Proverbs. The author was King Solomon. He didn’t USE the product, but he passed it on with high recommend because he was speaking (or writing) what God guided him to write.
Prov. 4:25–27 25Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. 26Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. 27Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.
Straight is the shortest distance to the goal, and that is just what God’s GPS provides: the instruction and power to go straight. No crooks, no extra turns. No deviating right or left. If we use God’s GPS, our eyes will be “straight ahead” and our eyelids “look right before [us],” and we won’t “turn to the right or to the left…” – doesn’t that cut off much of the danger of wrong turns?
That is the purpose of the GPS guidance of God – it will keep us going straight for our goal, a place in the world to come. And this will keep our foot “from evil”!
As we would say today, “we don’t go there.”
Remember what Isaiah prophesied about John the Baptist’s mission as the announcer of Christ’s coming? Christ would be coming with God’s GPS for the nation, and John was the announcer. Notice Isaiah includes Christ’s whole work, of both his first and second comings.
Isa. 40:3–5 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; 5The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Roadbuilders also need GPS, because they are making ways for people to follow. John was a spiritual roadbuilder. Figuratively speaking, he was using God’s GPS to make crooked places straight and rough places smooth. And in the end, “all flesh shall see it together”—the fulfillment of this prophecy awaits Christ’s return.
At the time John began his preaching and baptizing, Luke referred to Isaiah’s prophecy.
Luke 3:3–4 3And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,
Luke saw the purpose in John’s mission: the people needed to REPENT – it was a baptism of “repentance for the remission of sins.”
4as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.
Jesus would initiate drastic changes. And John would come with the GPS instructions, preparing “the way of the Lord.” Jesus’ first coming would bring one type of reform, ending the out-worn Jewish system, and at His second advent he would begin a program of drastic, world-wide straightening. “All flesh shall see it together.” His GPS will allow only one route: straight forward.
Hebrews 12 speaks of the same need, and this author is also quoting from the Prophet Isaiah, chapter 35.
Heb. 12:12–13 12Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees [“strengthen” to renew courage and determination],
13and make straight paths for your feet [the most direct path to pleasing God] so that what is lame [spiritually crippled and weak] may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
Isaiah was speaking to the drastic moral reform that would be needed.
Do you recall Josiah, King of Judah during the time of Jeremiah? He was crowned king when he was only “eight years old” (2 Kings 22:1). When he was in his mid-twenties, Hilkiah the high priest found “the Book of the Law”—God’s GPS instructions—in the temple. The young king tore his robes in sorrow for the sins of his nation and quickly set about to turn things around. He was open and ready for God’s guidance system. As he saw it there was no other option.
Josiah did what was “right in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Kings 22:2) and the newly found “Book of the law” became the GPS tool to steer the people. There could be no turning to the right or left.
The same GPS tool has come down to us. Let’s be sure we are using it today. Realize it was not designed by any human hands. It comes from God. If we try to improve it, we only make our path crooked.
This GPS is the only guide to our destination, the one straight path. It isn’t popular, but it is the narrow way that Jesus said is the way to LIFE!