Every week, we will feature a Bible word study from Professor Skip Moen's Today's Word. Start understanding scripture from its Hebraic roots and view God's Word in a way you never have before.
Prof. Skip Moen, D.Phil.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy. Jude 24 NASB
Stumbling – The word aptaistous is used only here in the entire New Testament. It comes from ptaio, a verb that is a metaphor for falling into disobedience. There is a beautiful parallel here with Isaiah 42:16. God promises to make the blind walk in paths they do not know. Now we see the same idea in the New Testament. God is the power behind walking without stumbling. When we were blind, we constantly crashed into life, stumbling and falling with injuries. But God makes us able to walk with sight. We don’t stumble because we can finally see where we are going.
The Greek text actually says “to keep you without stumbling.” It is not that God directs us in ways that give us a nice smooth path. It is rather that wherever we walk, we do not stumble because He keeps watch over us. It is His guarding power that sets our footing firmly, even if the path we tread is full of pitfalls and obstacles. The path of a follower is a new way, a way we would never have considered on our own. It is often very treacherous, but the dangers are overcome because God guards our steps.
Once I took a driving class in a Ferrari on a racetrack. The instructor took me through the turns and straight-aways, telling me when to accelerate and when to brake. Then we switched places. “Now let me show you how this car is supposed to be driven,” he said. I thought I was doing well until he started driving. I was scared to death. But he said to me, “Don’t worry. I’ve done this hundreds of times. You’re in no danger.”
God has traversed the pathway more often than we can count. We are in no danger, not because the path isn’t dangerous but because we are following an expert guide.
God must be in the driver’s seat. If He’s not, you better move over. God’s ways are usually not the smooth highways with nice exit ramps. God’s ways are more likely to be mind-numbing acceleration and wild hairpin turns. God’s ways require diligence and attention. You can’t gaze at the roadside flowers while you’re moving at His pace or you’re likely to crash. But God promises that His ways will be infinitely more satisfying and joyful. And He says, “You’re not traveling alone. I’ll drive, if you don’t mind. Just come along for the ride.” Even when He is driving, it will take your breath away. But be confident. He has driven the course thousands of times without a single mistake. Now you get to take your turn to ride with Him – without stumbling.