I recently traveled internationally with a colleague. I’ve noticed people like to travel with me mostly because there are a lot of shared perks when you travel with a frequent flier. The obvious perks are priority check in, boarding first, occasional upgrades, access to airline lounges with all day food and drinks, a place to stretch out and nap, and a shower to name a few. But another perk to traveling with a frequent flier is that they usually know exactly where they are going!
Airports can be particularly confusing, even for well educated people and occasional travelers. But some airports are much worse than others. So knowing what to expect and being prepared is one thing but then being led by someone in the know, can really take the stress and anxiety out of travel.
So, after navigating through five different airports with my colleague, on the last leg of the flight he commented to me that there was a lot less stress traveling with someone who knew exactly where we were going and what to expect when we arrived.
Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way? Proverbs 20:24 KJV
I do enjoy taking apart God’s Word, studying it in the original language. It often reveals little extra nuggets, that sometimes goes unnoticed in our English translations. Don’t get me wrong, the translations I use are fine, but looking at the original words can occasionally add some depth.
In the case of Proverbs 20:24, the word man is used twice, but in the original Hebrew, they are two different words. The second, of course means more than just “man”, it is the word for “mankind”. But you already knew that!
It’s the first “man” of the verse that is intriguing, it’s not simply a man, it’s the image of a strong man, a warrior! Here the writer describes that “strong men, warriors” steps are of Yahweh. That is, they are directed by, they are “of” God! How then would “normal mankind” ever navigate life? No wonder so often people find themselves lost. They find themselves in a fog that no one could navigate if not for direction from someone who sees everything.
Man continues to fool themselves to believe that they can navigate this life without God’s guidance and find themselves time after time back in the same rut they started. It never gets better, they never learn.
Do you know anyone like that? They seem to always struggle the same way with the same thing like they have been wandering through a fog in circles, always ending up in the same situation.
The proverb reminds us that the warrior is a warrior because he is guided, not because of his own strength, wisdom or direction, but rather because he allows himself to be led. Yahweh is the only true and trustworthy guide that can successfully navigate us through the dangers and pitfalls of this world. Let’s make sure we are led by Yahweh the one who already knows the way!
Dr. Ronald J. Barnes, Jr.
January 24, 2022