You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy. In your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
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Because most humans don't have starships, we find other ways to explore distant solar systems. Astronomers have come up with many creative ways to study and evaluate impossibly remote locations - we've used their techniques, for example, to discover planets - before we can even see them! And today we use their methods to hunt for what Klingons would call yInroH - life signs. Signs the psalmist sees as well.
David delares that the Lord shows him the path of "yIn" - life. In Hebrew, the word is chayim, a familiar word from the toast "L'Chaiim" and the jewelry that uses the shorter form "chai" made up of the two letters het and yod. This word for "life" occurs over 450 times in the Bible.
The New Bible Dictionary says that, in scripture
"life ... is associated with light, gladness, fullness, order and active being... and contrasted with the darkness, sorrow, emptiness, chaos, and silence which are charecteristic of death..."
Indeed, David, by speaking of a path of life, suggests that there are some other path, perhaps like the book of Proverbs describes: "There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 14:12)
The astronomers who hunt for yInroH, life signs, in the universe talk of something I think of that is like the path of life: "the habitable zone." You see, depending on how powerful a star is, you can easily identify the orbital region that is "just right" for life as we know it. Too close or too far from the sun and life has no chance. If a planet's orbit is like Goldilock's porridge - neither too hot or too cold - then that world is in the "path of life" for that star.
We're not planets. The path we find for ourselves is not an orbit. It's the result of choices made - by us, by family, by friends.
And David tells us - the path we choose can be one that the LORD shows us - a path that leads to life - not just in the here and now, but a path into life, forever.
As it says in Proverbs:
But the path of the righteous is like the dawning light, that shines more and more until the perfect day. (4:18)
Looking for yInroH - signs of life? There's someone ready, right now - to show you where to find it! Ask him today!