Monday Minutes, With Pastor Chris McCool (September 4, 2023)

In today’s edition of “Monday Minutes,” I want to share an article by Elder Michael Ivey about the the way in which God’s people should live. I pray we will take heed and try to order our steps according to God’s will for our lives!

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor

The Steps of a Good Man

by Elder Michael Ivey

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” Psalms 37:23

This text indicates God has established how those who are born again should walk.

The Hebrew word for “steps” is מצעד (pronounced mits-awd’). Twice this word is translated as steps and once as goings. It is from a root word which means to go, to march. Also, מצעד (mits-awd’) can include a connotation of companionship as if to march with others.

The verb “ordered” is translated from the Hebrew word כון (pronounced koon). It means: established, prepared. The Hebrew conjugation of this verb is pual which is the passive voice of piel (with an added concept of intensity). It is perfect tense. Passive voice indicates the subject (a good man) is the recipient of the action. Perfect tense indicates a completed action.

With these meanings in mind this verse can be inferred to say: God has prepared and established steps for the goings (as if to march together in step) of good men.

However, this use of “ordered” does not suggest this verse teaches God predetermined how those who are born again specifically will behave; that He foreordained each step, every decision and move we make. Such an assertion then must also include God having established, prepared and fixed sinful behaviors. This would be so since David was a child of God whose steps led him to commit fornication and murder. Gideon, one of God’s judges in Israel engaged in false worship toward the end of his life, which led to Israel engaging in Idolatry (See Judges 8:27). Solomon’s wives turned him to idolatry at the end of his life. (See 1 Kings 11:4) Furthermore to suggest the text means God controls only our good steps also cannot be correct. For this interpretation to be true the passage would need be stated as: “the good steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.”

A more likely interpretation of this verse is God before ordained how we should walk; that, he before prepared the ethics of godly walking for those who are born again. This explanation corresponds to statements made by Paul in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” and in Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” These texts suggest regeneration, being born again by the Holy Spirit, gives us the will and ability to do good works. But neither support a notion that God specifically controls the behaviors of those he quickens.

What manner of walk then did the LORD establish or prepare for those who are born again, who now have the will and ability and thereby should “walk in them”? Nearby verses (which supply contextual continuity for our study verse) identify the manner of walk, the goings, God before prepared and established by which we should walk. They include:

Psalms 37:

Verse 1 -Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Verse 3 -Trust in the LORD, and do good

Verse 4 -Delight thyself also in the LORD

Verse 5 -Commit thy way unto the LORD

Verse 7 -Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him

Verse 8 -Cease from anger, and forsake wrath

These then are the steps the LORD established. They were prepared by Him as an ethical guide for a godly walk (of life) for good people.

Scripture is its own interpreter.