Here is one of those apparent contradictions which seem to give non-believers such trouble. Psalm 18:36 appears to be in direct contradiction to Matthew 7:13-14 which, in the NLT read: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
The key to unlocking this apparent contradiction is to be found in the broader context. In the passage from Matthew, Jesus is preaching the principles of faith which, in large part, have been forgotten by the Jewish religious establishment of his day. Effectively, it is as if he is seeing to road to salvation though the eyes of non-believers today. So much is permissible and achievable today that not to choose to live by the apparent freedoms of our permissive society does seem to many to be a narrow and difficult road which only a few find. However the psalmist is a true believer who knows his God and has been rescued by his grace and mercy. To the true believer, having seen the Lord make good on his promises and realising the perfection of God, nothing is impossible. Compared to a life lived outside the protection of God, walking in his ways gives great strength, confidence and certainty. The ease or difficulty of God’s path depends on your perspective as believer or non-believer.
Psalms 18:30-36 NLT
30 God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
31 For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
32 God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
35 You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great.
36 You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.
My goal is, as always, to try and help illuminate the great wisdom that the bible can offer to those who find themselves lost in its depths or confused by its complexity. The Bible is recognised the world over as a truly great book. But it seems to me that very few people of my generation have ever really spent any time considering why that might be. I hope and pray that in my lifetime that might begin to change.
2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19, Romans 8:9-25, Psalms 18:16-36, Proverbs 19:26