For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death (Psalm 48:14)
We NEED a guide.
We need a guide because we are on an unknown journey. Jacob referred to the days of his life on earth as a “sojourning” (Genesis 47:9). David said that he was a “sojourner” even as all his fathers were (Psalm 39:12). By faith Abraham “lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land” (Hebrews 11:9). Peter said that Christians were to “conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth” (1Peter 1:17). Again he said, “I urge you as aliens and strangers” (1Peter 2:11). Because we are simply sojourners and pilgrims in this life, and the journey is unknown, we indeed need a guide.
We need a guide because we are ignorant and inexperienced. Joshua stated our case when he said to the children of Israel, “you have not passed this way before” (Joshua 3:4). When the children of Israel refused to go into the promised land, God had them to wander in the wilderness for forty long years. Joshua did not want the people to make another mistake in failing to do exactly as God said. When he had received from the Lord the order of march into the promised land, he reminded them had not passed that way before. Because this is the first time in this life for us, and we have not passed this way before, we need a guide.
We need a guide because there are many paths. Jeremiah said, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it” (Jeremiah 6:16). When one in driving comes to a round-about, he may be puzzled because there are so many ways leading in and out. Which is the right way? In life there are so many ways.
There is the way of pleasure. Jesus tells of a man who followed this way. “The land of a rich man was very productive … Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16-21).
There is the way of infidelity. In speaking to someone the infidel said that there is no God because he could not see God, hear God, feel God, smell God, or taste God. The man replied, “Sir, I perceive that you are a fool, for I cannot see your mind, hear your mind, feel your mind, smell your mind, or taste your mind.” Indeed the infidel is a fool for he flies into the face of overwhelming evidence of the existence and power of God. “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1).
There is the way of idolatry and heathenism. It also is foolish as Isaiah showed the children of Israel. A man will take the tree and use it to warm himself, and bake his bread, and then out of the same tree he will make himself a god, and fall down and worship it (Isaiah 44:14-15).
There is the way of religious error. The idea is that it does not make any difference what one believes in religion as long as he is sincere. Common sense tells us that this idea will not work in any other realm. One could sincerely believe that he is drinking a harmless liquid when in reality it is a deadly poison. Sincerity would not remove the deadly effect of the poison. Jesus said truth makes free (John 8:32). One must be sincere in order to be saved, but his sincerity must be in relationship to truth and not to error.
There is the way of indifference. The cross, and all that it signifies, is a great and wonderful expression of the love of God for man. If man is indifferent toward this, he is a shameless creature, worthy of condemnation. The Lord said, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).
We need a guide because there is an enemy along the way. He came into the garden and led the first of the race to sin. In the time of Job, he was still engaged in his work, for he said that he was going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it (Job 1:7). Though he is a roaring lion, seeking to devour, he may appear as an angel of light to beguile and deceive (1Peter 5:8; 2Corinthians 11:14).
We need GOD as a guide.
He knows the right way. He who created the heavens and the earth, and made man in His own image, knows what is best. He is the complete guide because He is almighty. “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless” he said to Abraham (Genesis 17:1). He is all-wise. Peter said, “Lord, You know all things” (John 21:17). He is experienced. He is from “everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2). Following such a guide, man can be safe and secure.
He makes plain the right way. “A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it” (Isaiah 35:8). He makes the right way plain through his commands, examples, and inferences in His word. He has provided for the pilgrim a complete road map. It is the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25). It equips us every good work (2Timothy 3:17).
He will never forsake us. “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU” (Hebrews 13:5). He will never lead us astray. Instead, He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).
Since the way of man is not in himself, since we have never passed this way before, since there are so many ways, and since not only is this life involved, but also all eternity, we need a guide. We need a true and dependable guide. We need to say truly with the psalmist, “For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.”