“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”
Proverbs 5:21 says, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” There is nothing you do that the LORD doesn’t see. The way you live and the way that you do things in life are of interest to God. When God talks about someone’s “ways,” He is talking about their direction in life, their actions, and their habits. In other words, God wants to see that your characteristics and habits in life take you in the right direction.
The Scriptures often give clear insight as to what God wants a person to do, either through a good or bad example of an individual. In the verse above, God gives three examples of people whose ways were destructive. These three ways that God shows in this verse should never dictate your decisions or direction that you live. Let me share these three destructive ways that you must never allow to influence your decisions.
First, you must avoid the way of Cain. Cain’s life epitomized convenience, selfishness, and rebellion. Cain’s mentality was that it was either going to be his way or no way. You will fail to serve the LORD successfully if service to Him requires everything to be done conveniently and your way. God doesn’t negotiate about how He does His work. God’s Word is what dictates how we should serve the LORD. Your decisions and service to the LORD should never be based on how it benefits you but how it agrees with God’s way. If convenience is the determining factor as to whether you will do something for God, you will find that you will never do anything for God. God’s way is often not convenient, but His way is full of blessings.
Second, you must avoid the way of Balaam. Balaam’s life was all about reward and money. Money should never be the determining factor about God’s will for your life. God’s will has nothing to do with how much money you can make, but it has everything to do with whether it is what God wants you to do. Faith often doesn’t see the money to do what God wants you to do, but God always provides for those who live by faith. You will never live in God’s will if everything you do for God must be about the reward of position and money.
Third, you must avoid the way of Korah. Korah was rebellious and always opposing God’s man. My friend, the man of God may not be perfect, but he is still God’s man. We live in a generation that wants to question, oppose and disrespect the man of God, which always ends badly. The Scriptures are filled with examples of people who opposed God’s man, and every time it ended in death or destruction. Absalom opposed God’s man and was killed. Korah opposed the man of God, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up him and his followers. I often hear people talk about people being “yes” men for a preacher as if that is bad. I would rather be wrong in supporting the man of God in an endeavor that doesn’t contradict the Scriptures than to oppose him because I don’t agree and miss out on the opportunities that God led that pastor to do. You would be wise to follow that man of God until you become the one God places in charge. You are walking on dangerous ground when you’re opposing the man of God for the sake of opposition. You should follow and support the preacher unless he is doing something that contradicts God’s Word.