As a young man leaving the shores of the land of my birth my father quoted Isa. 28:22, the first part of which reads as follows: "Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong." He explained to me whatever way I chose to take I would grow stronger in that way day by day. If I chose to live for the Lord whom I had trusted as my Savior and Lord, I would become stronger and stronger day by day in that path. However if I chose to live for the things of the world, I would find it hard in my own strength to break the "bands" of worldliness and return to the right path.
These words from my father's lips rose like barricades or road blocks in my path when tempted to stray from the way in which God by His Word had instructed me to walk.
Be not a mocker or scoffer, or one who lightly esteems the right and deliberately chooses the wrong. Everyone, young and old alike, should lay this admonition to heart and seek to order their steps in the right way. The end of the whole matter will be either an increasing confirmation in the ways pleasing to God or a sowing to the flesh and a reaping of corruption and death (Gal. 6:8).
My experience in life has been, I have seen Christians who have chosen the right path and reaped the blessing of God in doing so, and I have seen Christians who have chosen the path of self-pleasing and have suffered under the chastening hand of a loving Father, Who to Israel of old said, "As a father chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee" (Deut. 8:5). Joshua the mighty warrior and leader of the children of Israel made the right choice when he said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).
Dear Christian friend and reader of these lines, you and you alone hold the key to the success or failure of your Christian life. If you despise, ignore, lightly esteem or mock at the right path, be it ever remembered, your "bands" will be made strong in that path. Then in the end you will have to say like King Saul of old, "I have played the fool, I have erred exceedingly" (I Sam. 26:21).