Up or Down

I saw a documentary on the terrible dangers of an avalanche. Sadly, few people survive that horrific event. However, even if someone does survive the initial onslaught of snow, the danger is not over. Even if they have pockets of enough air, and could possibly dig their way up and out of the torrent, the problem is that there is no frame of reference for which direction is up. Everything is white on top of the head, to the left, to the right, and under one’s feet. Someone could be buried upside down with their feet pointing toward the sky and not recognize it. They could dig but be digging farther down into the snow. There is no way to tell which way is the right way. So those who initially survive, but are buried, still need a rescuer to come and save them.

And so, it is in our world today. We are being buried under an onslaught of sinful activity. We no longer have a sense of which direction is up.

Psalm 119:9 begins with a very important question, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity?”

Purity: it means virtue, innocence, wholesomeness, cleanness, the absence of anything harmful or inferior. But purity has been trampled under the feet of personal freedom in our modern enlightened world. With that global mindset, how can someone stay on the path of purity? That is such a vital question. How can a person choose the right way? How can we know which direction to go? Which way is up? Maybe we have asked those questions for our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, even for ourselves. We live in a world that doesn’t stand on solid ground. The sand keeps shifting. Truth has become what we want it to be. We have turned our world upside down by legalizing what was once considered to be wrong. We are being buried under an onslaught of sin and we also need a rescuer. We need to know which direction is the right way to go.

But God doesn’t leave us hanging. Verse 9 continues with the answer to the how, “By living according to your word.”

And there it is, the place, where we can safely plant our feet and know what direction is up, is on the Word of God. And our rescuer is the Word made flesh, the Lord Jesus, who came to show us how to live it out.

When we set our lives on the Word, Jesus is our true north. He is the way up and out of our sin and impurity. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness and helps us to live according to His Word.

Lord Jesus, how grateful I am that You are the Living Word, that when I ask, You come to dwell in me, and when I study the Scripture, You teach me how to live.


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