We can find the phrase “the way” in over 300 places in the Scriptures. Many of the way verses are very significant for those who desire to love the heavenly Father and walk in His Ways.
The Hebrew word for ‘way’ is ‘derek’ <Strong’s # 1870> and it means ‘a road (as trodden); and, a course or direction of life, or a manner of action, in other words, a lifestyle’.
In this series of articles, we will be looking at this phrase – ‘the way‘ – and this word ‘way‘ and its meaning as a course or direction of life, or a manner of action, a lifestyle.
‘The Direction to Life’
In this article titled, “The Way of Life”, we could also be titled it ‘The Direction to Life’.
All life proceeds from the one and only source of life, the Maker of heaven and earth – Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God]. He is the fountain of life!
The ‘way of life’ will always lead us to the life that Yahuwah Elohim gives. His life, both natural and spiritual, is vibrant, vigorous, and brighter than the light of the sun (Psalms 36:9; John 6:63b).
This phrase ‘the way of life’, or slight variations but the same meaning, appears six times in the Scriptures:
1) So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
2) For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: (Proverbs 6:23)
3) He is in the way of life that keeps instruction: but he that refuses reproof goes astray. (Proverbs 10:17)
4) The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. (Proverbs 15:24)
5) And unto this people you shall say, Thus says Yahuwah [the LORD]; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. (Jeremiah 21:8)
6) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leads unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:14)
In the above verse from the book of Jeremiah, we can see that ‘the way of life’ is contrasted with ‘the way of death’. This verse is very similar to a passage in Deuteronomy, where the children of God are called to make a choice — a choice between life and death, between blessing and cursing:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both you and your seed may live: 20) That you may LOVE Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD your God], and that you may OBEY His voice, and that you may CLEAVE (cling) unto Him: for He is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which Yahuwah [the LORD] sware unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
Notice that God the Father, Yahuwah Elohim, wants us to choose life!
To choose life is to choose a direction or a manner of action, a lifestyle, which leads to life. When we choose ‘the way’ which leads to life then, as the above passage reveals, we see three details about this choice which leads to life:
- It is ‘the way‘ in which we choose to love Yahuwah our Elohim [the LORD your God.
- It is ‘the way‘ in which we choose to obey His voice [His Word].
- It is ‘the way‘ in which we choose to cling to and be united to Him.
When we choose to walk (our lifestyle) in the ‘way of life’, it is ‘the way’ which leads to God’s abundant, superior life. We will thus have Yahuwah’s blessings and the life promised to us by Yahuwah’s Son, Yahushua Messiah [the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ] (John 10:10).
The first choice is to love Yahuwah Elohim. Love for Yahuwah leads us into the way of life. If we truly choose to love the heavenly Father, then we will naturally have a love for obedience to His commandments – His instructions and guidelines, revealed from the beginning of His Word [the Bible]. (Psalm 119:160; 2John 1:6).
The more we show our love for Him through our obedience to Him (John 14:15), the more He pours His love into our hearts by His Holy Spirit. The result is that we are enabled to cling to Him and love Him more, as well as have a greater capacity to love one another (Romans 5:5; 1Peter 1:22).
We can also see from the six verses listed above, that ‘the way of life’ is a narrow way and is a way in which we must maintain a teachableness to Yahuwah’s instructions. It is a strict and difficult way, and at times, a distressing way. Many leave this pathway because of the difficulties. But Yahuwah’s ‘way to life’ is the way that Father has chosen for refining us, proving us, and humbling us, so that we may be brought forth as gold and prepared for glory (Job 23:10; Romans 9:23)!
The greatest example of someone walking in ‘the way of life’ is Yahushua Messiah!
By His example, He revealed ‘the way to life’, as He told us:
“I am the Way; I am the Truth; I am the Life.” (John 14:6)
There is much more that could be said about this ‘way of life’. There are related phrases found throughout the Bible such as:
- the way of wisdom
- the way of righteousness
- the way of understanding
- the way of Your commandments
- the way of good men
- the way of His saints
- the way of truth
There are also other verses that give additional insights into understanding this ‘way’ – or the ‘path‘ – which leads to ‘LIFE‘ — the life that God wants to give His children — His ever-lasting life (John 3:16; John 5:24).
For now, we will let this little bit be sufficient.
May each one of us choose, and find, ‘The Way‘ which leads to LIFE – God’s life.
See the Companion Articles in this series:
- 9 Truths About the Bible
- Six Little Things that Make a Big Difference
- Messiah is Our Example
- Prayer Quotes
- Acquiring a Teachable Heart
- Following Messiah: Two Basic Qualities
- 7 Tips For Enduring Trials
- Enlightening the Eyes of Our Understanding: 5 Steps
- Dying to Self– A brief list of practical examples of how we experience “dying to self.”