Yesterday, I wrote about the concept of pondering when pondering a course of action. Now I would like to explore the idea of pondering when pondering how God ponders our paths.
He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.
I suspect most will recognize that as a stanza from the Christmas carol, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” It is often used to impose a certain level of terror into the hearts of kids in order to extract good behavior leading up to a gift giving extravaganza. Once we reach a certain level of maturity we realize that Santa is not that all-knowing.
Well, ponder this –
For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. (Proverbs 5:21)
This is a great example of “context” and biblical interpretation. In this verse, as opposed to 4:26, it is the LORD who is pondering. What is He pondering? “A man’s ways” is what the verse tells us. In fact it goes on to say the LORD ponders “all his paths.” His cannot refer to God because He has no need to weigh his character or behavior, so it definitely refers to man. In addition “path” and “ways” compliment one another.
The word “ponder” is the same word we looked at in the previous writing – it means to roll flat, weight, or, based on context, weigh – as heavy in thought.
Bottom line…there is no way our way is not observed by God and given consideration. As the Psalmist said, “If I ascend to heaven your are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there (Psalm 139:8)!” The way we conduct ourselves; what we say, what we do, what we think, does not escape God’s awareness. We may think we have pulled the blinds, turned out the lights and closed the door, but all to no avail.
Now the nub of this is that December 25th is not necessarily our day of reckoning. If we do not ponder our paths, God surely does. The consequences may be manifest now or later, we may be ensnared tomorrow or die “for lack of discipline” (Proverbs 5:22-23). The point is, God knows and He is not idle with that knowledge.
When I ponder that, it engenders a bit more attention than Santa Claus coming to town!
NOTE: By no means do I imply that correct conduct is only corralled by fear of God’s punishment. What I do intend to say is that all actions have consequences. God is not blind to who we are, what we do and what we think. And we can be sure that, to a certain degree, what we sow we will reap. As “Dear Abby” once said, “We cannot sow our wild oats and then pray for a crop failure!”