Walking in the ways…

“His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.” I Samuel 8:3
Walking in the ways – what does this mean really? Deuteronomy is full of commands to walk in the ways of the LORD. I&II Kings are full of examples of sons who walked in the way of the LORD or turned aside and walked in the way of sin. Proverbs is full of examples of those who follow the way of the fool or seek after wisdom. We are blessed if we walk in his ways (Psalm 128:1), we need to be taught to walk in His ways (Isaiah 2:3), as believers we never walk in darkness (John 8:12) but have the light of life, we walk in obedience to the commands-we walk in love (2Jn 1:6) and we walk in truth (3 Jn 1:3).
So walking is simply putting one foot in front of the other – right? In fact, just living life from one moment to the next is walking. Everyone must walk (metaphorically – of course) from birth to death. And the walking leaves a way. It’s not a new way or some special individual way. One way of walking leads to life, the other way leads to death. These are ancient paths.
I’m thankful for the gospel which is the heart of the way. It is the divider of the ancient paths from the beginning. The gospel, for the believer, is also the power to walk in His ways! His Word is the light. The word of God reveals the way and teaches the way. It works in our heart to convict us of turning aside from the way.
I’ll probably think of more ‘way’ things later…
One more thing – one commentator study bible note for the I Samuel passage says that “Samuel was perhaps too involved in his ministry to watch over the spiritual welfare of his family. As a result, God was dishonored.” I’m inclined (very humbly, since the commentator is way more learned than I) to think that this is not true. First, we are not given specifically any reason by way of Samuel’s life. Scripture does not indicate a lapse of some kind on Samuel’s part. Second, the verse itself indicates that the very ways of the sons were different than Samuel’s and thereby dishonored God, implying that if they had walked in his ways, they would’ve honored God. I think there is something slightly dangerous in the study note and the assumption that Samuel was too ministry minded, but I can’t really articulate it yet. I’m still thinking it through.
Samuel was serving the LORD as he was chosen to do from the beginning. His sons did not serve the LORD, they served themselves.
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