Walk with Care
LIFE in this modern world is like walking through a swamp, a swamp of moral corruption. Pitfalls, entanglements and treacherous ground are a constant threat on every side. A false step can lead to being sucked down by the world’s moral quicksand. Winding through this evil-smelling swamp is a narrow path that follows firm ground until it finally comes out into a clean world. That narrow path is the way of Christian integrity. It is the safe path, the only way out. Jesus spoke of it when he said: “Narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it.”—Matt. 7:14.
But how can a person stay on this path if he does not walk with care or have a guide to lead him and to light his way? A wise traveler in a literal swamp would not be without a good guide or a dependable light. Neither would he be heedless of the ground under his feet. He would walk carefully, making sure the ground is solid and not a deceptive crust with only an appearance of soundness. But how many people in the world show the same care while walking their life’s course? How many blunder along giving no heed to where they step or to what path is best to follow? How many give any thought or make any effort to finding and walking the narrow path of Christian integrity? The majority can well say: “We look for light, but, behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in obscurity. We grope for the wall like the blind; yea, we grope as they that have no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the twilight.”—Isa. 59:9, 10, AS.
A swamp is no place to be stumbling and groping along untested paths. It is no place to be walking without proper light. Yet how many in the world are doing just that? How many know where they are going or can be certain the path they follow is sound?
God well knew that man would need something to guide him. He knew that there would be many deceptive paths leading in different directions that would thoroughly confuse people. They would have to have something that would unerringly point out the right path and would be a dependable light for their feet. He provided it by giving mankind the Bible. “Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.”—Ps. 119:105.
By means of his written Word God speaks to us, saying: “This is the way, walk ye in it.” (Isa. 30:21, AS) But if no attention is paid to the Scriptures, how can a person find that way? And how can those who do find it stay on it if they do not follow the instructions and principles of God’s Word? What will prevent them from wandering off on deceptive paths of human philosophy, false religion and political ideologies that only lead them deeper into the worldly swamp? What will safeguard them from the entanglements of materialism and worldly immorality?
The only way a person can stay on the right path is to follow the righteous principles and instructions of God’s Word. He must walk carefully, permitting the Bible to expose false paths and to illuminate the right way. To ignore it is like stumbling through a swamp in total darkness. Is it any wonder, then, that so many people do not know where they are actually headed? Jesus truly said: “He that walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.”—John 12:35.
Do you know where you are going? Do you know what your life’s course is leading to? Are you sure the path you are following is sound? Some may say Yes. But can they be any more certain they are right than the person who is groping about in total darkness can be certain that he is walking in the direction he imagines he is? Try walking out of an unfamiliar room in complete darkness and you will find it difficult to identify with certainty the many objects you bump into or be sure you are headed in the right direction for the right door.
No one can be sure he is on the right path by leaning upon his own understanding. What may seem right to him may actually be wrong, because it is contrary to the laws of the supreme Sovereign. That is why it is written: “There exists a way that is upright before a man, but the ways of death are the end of it afterward.” (Prov. 14:12) It is only by using the truths of the Scriptures that a person can be certain what path is right and what is wrong and deceptive.
The need for the Bible’s guiding light in this world can be better appreciated when it is realized that the world is in the very condition described by the prophet Isaiah: “For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples.”—Isa. 60:2, AS.
Since the god of this world, its invisible ruler, is the prince of darkness, it is not strange that the world should be in gross spiritual darkness. It is not strange that it should be a swamp of moral corruption, and it is not strange that it should produce great crops of wicked fruits. Since Satan has no desire for anyone to walk the narrow way to life, is it not logical that he would use every deceptive means imaginable to get people on wrong paths and bogged down in the world’s moral swamp? Will he not make wrong roads appear as the right road? Will he not popularize false religions, making them appear outwardly as the true religion? “And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness.”—2 Cor. 11:14, 15.
This world and its moral swamp is due to be destroyed by God at the coming battle of Armageddon. The whole wicked system of things will be wiped from the earth as thoroughly as was the world before the Flood. The only way to survive its fate and to step out into a clean new world is to follow the narrow way of Christian integrity. The wise person will choose that way and will walk along it with care, keeping strict watch on how he walks. As long as he stays on it and follows the guidance of God’s Word he will not become lost in the world’s moral swamp.