In the country of Jordan, there are two routes available to take you from the capital city of Amman to the famed ancient site known as Petra. You can either go down low and take the desert route, which is more direct, or you can go up high on the King’s Highway. The high road will take you longer, through twists, turns, and switchbacks, but the view along the way is epic.
In many ways, it is the same in life. We can take one of two routes. The low road is definitely faster, easier, and more crowded. The high road, on the other hand, can be a bit tricky, long, and very lonely.
So why would you take the high road? Why would anyone go to the trouble? Because it’s the right thing to do? Yes, but also because there’s a payoff. Not only are you rewarded with great views on the high road, you are closer to God on the journey.
But if we’re keeping it real, sometimes it gets confusing as to what exactly the high road looks like. These days the high road is so rarely traveled, we may be losing track of it.
In Psalm 15, David lays out some specific markers of life on the high road. He begins by asking this question:
O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill? (v. 1)
In other words, what kind of person is it that gets to enjoy being close to you, God? Who is invited into Your lofty space?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. (v. 2-3 NLT)
In essence, David says, it is the person who takes the high road. It is the person who chooses to roll on a different path than everyone else. In the next few verses, he profiles the type of behavior that is expected of those who would abide with God – things like honesty, integrity, and a refusal to exploit others.
But let’s be careful here. Taking the whole of Scripture, it is clear that we don’t get to God by taking some prescribed ethical road, but by going through a Person, Jesus Christ.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus, John 14:6
The message isn’t “Be nice, do good, and I’ll let you in.” Rather, the message is “You’re not nice, but I love you anyway, so much that I sent my Son on a mission to do for you what you could not do for yourself. Now that it’s done, I’m not asking you to pay me back. I’m just asking you to live out the salvation you’ve been gifted. I’m asking you to walk worthy and show off my bulldog-like love.
One of my favorite Bible teachers, the late Warren Wiersbe, put it this way:
“Psalm 15 is not a prescription for being saved but a description of how saved people ought to live if they want to please God and fellowship with Him.”
If you happen to be dealing with a difficult person or a challenging circumstance today, may God help you to take the high road. Yes, it’s hard. But there’s a payoff.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.