Proverbs 14:12 - Many Paths Seem Right But Lead To Death.
Proverbs 14:12: Many Paths Seem Right But Lead To Death.
CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word
Prov 14:12 (KJV) There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Prov 14:12 (CWR) There is a way that seems right to a man, but
in the end it leads him to death.
Prov 14:12 (TLB) Before every man there lies a wide and
pleasant road that seems right but ends in death.
CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:
The Proverbs of Solomon (10:1-22:16)
The major collection attributed to Solomon (10:1-22:16)
Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.
Proverbs 16:25 (KJV) There is a way that seemeth right unto a
man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Repetition has been called the mother of learning. It has also
been called the mother of boredom! But when a statement is important
enough for the author to repeat more than once, you can be sure it
contains a message you can't afford to miss. [Your Daily Walk SB]
Proverbs 12:15 (KJV) The way of a fool is right in his own
eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Proverbs 30:12 (KJV) There is a generation that are pure in
their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
Isaiah 58:11 (KJV) And the Lord shall guide thee continually,
and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou
shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose
waters fail not.
Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide
is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and
many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be
that find it.
Luke 13:24 (KJV) Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for
many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?
The warning is against trusting to the guidance of the
conscience without checking the conscience constantly against the teaching
of the Word of God. [SDA Commentary]
Can we ever trust our own judgment? No, not unless our judgment
has been shaped by a relationship with God. The way in this verse
suggests a road apart from the wisdom of God. Our own sense of what is
right or wrong, apart from God, is not always reliable. Life may seem
to make perfect sense to someone who doesn't fear the Lord (1:7).
That's why we've been given a guide that is perfectly reliable: God's
Word. From it we acquire wisdom to walk down the right path. [Quest
What seems right to us very often is not what is right. The
only way we can know what is right is to go to the Author of Life and
discover what He says. If we are not bringing the Bible to bear upon our
lives, we are in danger of drifting to what seems okay. There is no
substitute for knowing what God says in His Word. We cannot apply or
comply if we don't know it. Why not determine to read through the
Bible in a year? Today is a great day to begin this project of
earnestly reading and studying God's Word. A regular schedule of what
and how much to read will help you attain your goal. Then you won't
have to wonder about what "seems right," you'll know what is right!
[In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]
What do the first seven verses of Proverbs 16 have in common?
All these verses contain the name "Lord" or "God." In fact, the
divine name occurs more than eighty times in the book of Proverbs. It
is a helpful reminder that the Lord is the key to wise and godly
living. He is the Maker of life (14:31), and the Bible is his divinely
provided "owner's manual" to tell you how to live life to the fullest.
When was the last time you thanked God for creating you, or
acknowledged his daily presence and provision in your life? If it's been too
long, then try this helpful exercise. Circle "Lord" or "God" each time
they occur in today's reading. Then pray those verses that contain
his name back to God as a testimony of praise: "Lord, thank you that
... you are my deep strength (14:26) ... you are a fountain of life
(14:27) . . ." etc. You'll find that putting the Lord in the center of
your life is precisely where he fits best! [Daily Walk Bible re
A factory manager's assembly line was down, so he summoned a
consultant to suggest remedies. After inspecting a huge piece of machinery,
the consultant produced a small hammer, reached between some gears,
and gave a small tap. The assembly line worked again, and the
factory manager got a bill for $10,000. Aghast, the manager demanded
another bill itemizing the charges. When it came, the second bill read:
Tapping with hammer: $5.00/Knowing where to tap: $9,995.00. Wisdom is
"knowing where to tap." When we need some tapping done, we'll do it
ourselves if we're wise enough; otherwise we'll need someone who knows
where to tap. The book of Proverbs points us in both directions--by
showing us "where to tap" in many areas of life, and by helping us seek
out those who understand what we cannot yet perceive. The proverbs
not only show us wisdom, they show us how to seek wisdom. [Quiet
The natural man is spiritually dead, separated from God. He has
neither the presence of God in His life nor the knowledge of God's ways.
He has learned to live his life independently of God. Essentially,
this is what constitutes the "flesh." His mind has been conformed to
this world. The brain, which is physical and part of the body,
functions like a computer. The mind is the programmer. The body picks up
data from the world through its five senses. The mind chooses and
interprets the data, and the brain stores it. The emotions are essentially
a product of how the mind chooses to think and interpret life's
When we are born again, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in
our life. Because we are now spiritually alive and united with
Christ, we have the mind of Christ. We have become a partaker of the
divine nature. However, nobody pushed the clear button in the computer.
The brain is still programmed two live independently of God....
The battle is for the mind: "For the flesh sets its desire
against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in
opposition two one another" (Galatians 5:17). God has given us the
responsibility two choose. The carnal Christian chooses to walk according to
the flesh. What governs his behavior are the old habit patterns and
thoughts that were programmed over time. The spiritually defeated
Christian fails to put on the armor of God, and ends up paying attention
to deceiving spirits. The spiritual man has crucified the flesh and
put on the armor of God; he chooses to think upon that which is
We are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians
4:23). The Holy Spirit discloses the mind of Christ. We must choose to
no longer be conformed to His world. We are to be diligent to
present ourselves approved to God as a workman who does not need to be
ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). When we
do, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. We choose to
think the truth, and the Holy Spirit enables our thoughts and renews
our minds with the logos. Then the peace of God guards our hearts
and minds. We let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts by letting
the word of Christ richly dwell in us (Colossians 3:15,16). We are
now equipped to discern. (From Walking in the Light by Neil
Anderson) [Inspirational SB]
The natural inclination in Christian living is to act on the
impulse of a good idea. Not every good idea is from God. Sometimes good
ideas get in the way of God ideas.
Where does your inspiration come from? The vision of the
transfigured Christ inspired Peter: "O Lord, it is good for us to be here. If
you wish, I will put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses
and one for Elijah" (Matthew 17:4). Our natural impulse is to do
something good for God and suggest it to Him.
The tendency of the well-meaning person is to prepare a plan to
do some good idea, and then pray, "Jesus, this is my plan. It is a
good plan. It hurts no one, and I want it to please You. Lord, please
bless my plan." It is plan, then pray.
So many of our ideas are impetuous. They are not what the Lord
wants to do. They do not resemble in any way the things which concern
Him. We have good ideas, but they are not God ideas. His agenda and
our agenda conflict. We want to build Him a shelter but that is not
what He wants.... When Peter, James, and John heard the voice of the
Lord . . . they abandoned their inventive-but-self-made idea. The
presence of the Lord magnified, and His holiness brought them to their
senses. Jesus gained their attention, not by subduing them with a stern
scolding, but by magnifying His presence until all the genius of their
human ideas was bleached out by His refulgent face.
When they abandoned their good idea and fell facedown before the
Lord, He could work with them again....
When you and I abandon our good idea and fall to our face before
me Lord, then He will come and touch us, too. When we pursue our
own plan He cannot use us. We must abandon our good idea and fall
facedown before Him. Then He will be able to use us again. Then He will
reveal what He is doing - a God idea.... It is pray, then plan. Through
prayer, Jesus instructs of His plan, a God idea.
Prayer removes the impulse of the good idea, the good idea born
of human ingenuity but not of God. Pray, then plan. It is the habit
of the surrendered saint. (Walking with Christ in the Details of
Life by Patrick M. Morley) [Inspirational SB re Mat.13:12]
Unaided human nature leads people to make wrong choices leading
ultimately to death. The untrained conscience cannot be a trusted guide.
Only when it is too late does the deluded person discover that
he is on the crowded highway to death. The implication is not that
he was tricked, but that he relied too heavily on his own "wisdom"
rather than turning in humility to God. [Nelson SB]
The "way that seems right" may offer many options and require
few sacrifices. Easy choices, however, should make us take a second
look. Is this solution attractive because it allows me to be lazy?
Because it doesn't ask me to change my life-style? Because it requires
no moral restraints? The right choice often requires hard work and
self-sacrifice. Don't be enticed by apparent shortcuts that seem right but end
in death. [Life Application SB]
One of the significant contrasts between the two ways of Matthew
7:13 and 14 is that the broad way is "easy" and the narrow way is
"Easy." That is a nice word, a pleasant word. I wonder what it
I remember a few years ago when I was backpacking in the Wind
River Range of the Wyoming Rockies. I had struggled all day up an
extremely steep trail and had finally reached a plateau that ran parallel
to Lizardhead Peak. I was dead tired. Carrying my 65-pound pack the
next seven or eight miles to the next valley seemed almost more than
I could bear.
At that point I met another hiker, who told me of a shortcut
that would save me several hours. It was much "easier." The so-called
shortcut may have been shorter, but it was not easier. I struggled for a
day and a half over terrain that I didn't think could be crossed
with a full pack.
The moral: Things aren't always what they seem. The easy way is
sometimes the hard way in the end.
That's the way it is for many on the broad way. Hangovers, AIDS,
and a host of other diseases that stem from life on the fast track
make life more difficult than it would have been had they been more
But let's face it. Many people on the broad way don't face those
difficulties. Their lives are moderate and even moral, in the secular sense of
the term. Their way really does seem easy. They are just doing what
But that is where the other great contrast of the two ways comes
in. The broad way, Jesus tells us, leads to destruction, while the
narrow way leads to life. And once again, there are no alternatives.
Everyone will someday either go to their heavenly reward or be eternally
Each of us has a choice in this matter. Would we rather have it
easy now and hard later, or hard now and easy later? [Walking With
Jesus By Knight]