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Friday, April 26 2013
Crooked Paths Made Straight
"I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight"
The shortest route between any two points is a straight line. The shortest route between physical life and eternal life is also a straight line. Moreover, the road to Salvation is both straight (not crooked) and strait (not wide open).
"7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat [see Is Your Religion Your Religion?]: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14 KJV)
On the other hand, those who travel a crooked path (like a serpent), not only expend far more effort to go their greater distance, they may never arrive because, by definition, a crooked path will end up anywhere but the right place, even if one was aiming at it (the result of living life with a "bent sight"). That was the lesson of why the adult Israelites of the Exodus didn't make it to the promised land. The LORD led them straight out of Egypt, straight down to Mount Sinai, and then straight up to enter the land of Israel from the south. But when they became crooked in their obedience to Him, He turned the rebels around and let them wander their crooked path to no where (see A Journey Without A Destination and The Two-Way Promise Of The Promised Land). It was their children and grandchildren, forty years later, who crossed the Jordan (see Milk and Honey).
"14:26 And the LORD [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God] spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 14:27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.
"The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths"
Most of humanity, for the time being, is, as the old saying goes, still "headed no where fast." The world remains a "babylon" of confusion ("babylon" literally means confusion; it originated from a word meaning to babble, like a baby). The world is the way it is today because "there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace." The world's idea of a "leader" is someone who seizes power (by arms or by lies) and pushes, rather than truly leads (see Leaders And Pushers and The Rules Of Rulers).
"59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. 59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
The good news however is that the world, in due time, is going to be made straight. Everyone is going to find the "straight and narrow way" - and then have the genuine opportunity to do the right. One of the most well-known prophecies of Isaiah describes it.
"40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." (Isaiah 40:3-5 KJV)
It was that verse from Isaiah that John the Baptist was given to serve the LORD (see The Prophets: John The Baptist).
"3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee [see The Herods], and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias [see Rabbi John] in the wilderness. 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet [see The Prophets: Isaiah], saying,
The spiritual blindness that causes the "aimless" wandering through life will be cured, for the LORD will "lead them in paths that they have not known" and "make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight."
"42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them." (Isaiah 42:16 KJV)
Fact Finder: What is the Messiah going to do when He returns to turn a crooked world into a straight world?
This Day In History, April 26
1452: Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, engineer, sculptor and architect, was born. His paintings include "Mona Lisa" and "Last Supper."
1514: Copernicus made his first observations of "Saturn" (a pagan name that scientists gave to the planet).
1607: The English established a colony at Cape Henry, Virginia.
1654: Jews were expelled from Brazil.
1807: Russia and Prussia signed the Convention at Bartenstein, forming an alliance to force France out of the German states.
1812: Alfred Krupp, German armaments manufacturer, was born. He perfected the technique of casting steel and went on to supply weapons to at least 46 countries.
1828: Russia declared war on Turkey (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) to support Greece's battle for independence.
1865: John Wilkes Booth, 27, the accused assassin of Abraham Lincoln, died in a shootout with Federal authorities 11 days after Lincoln died.
1923: Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II) married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon ("The Queen Mother") in Westminster Abbey.
1933: The Gestapo (a German abbreviation of "The State Police" - ge-sta-po), the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, was established.
1937: German fighters sent by Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) to help fascist General Francisco Franco overthrow the communist Popular Front destroyed the undefended Basque town of Guernica, killing 1,000 and injuring 900.
1942: An explosion in a coal mine killed 1,549 in Manchuria.
1944: During the Second World War, Georgios Papandreou became the leader of the Greek government-in-exile based in Egypt.
1945: Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, leader of France's Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazi invaders during the Second World War, was arrested on treason charges.
1954: The Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina (Vietnam) and Korea, began. The people of Vietnam and Korea were nevertheless each divided into North and South by meddling foreigners.
1964: Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.
1971: 15" of rain fell in 24 hours in the Bahia district of Brazil.
1982: The Falklands War between Britain and Argentina ended.
1986: The worst nuclear accident in history (up to that time; the 2011 earthquake-caused nuclear power plants disaster in Japan exceeded it) occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, just north of Kiev. A fire caused by an explosion in one of the plant's 4 reactors released a cloud of radioactivity that was blown over Europe by shifting winds. Within 2 weeks, winds in the upper atmosphere had carried dust from the explosion completely around the world. At least 31 people died as a direct result of the accident.
1989: The deadliest tornado on record struck Bangladesh. Over 1,300 people were killed, over 12,000 were injured and 80,000 were left homeless.
2005: Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000 troops from Lebanon, ending a 29-year military occupation.