Located on the North American Continental Divide at Craig Pass, Wyoming, is a pond that bears the name, Isa Lake. This small lake lies within the borders of Yellowstone National Park at an elevation of 8,262 feet. At first glance there is nothing to distinguish it from any other mountain lake.
Yet in one respect Isa Lake is the only one of its kind in the entire world. Isa Lake is the only lake on earth that flows into two different oceans backwards. That is right. The lake’s west side drains into the Firehole River and finds its way east to the Atlantic Ocean. The lake’s east side drains into the Lewis River and finds its way west into the Pacific Ocean.[i]
This anomaly of beginning east then turning west and beginning west and turning east has a parallel in the Scripture. The prophet Ezekiel warns us regarding the recurring themes in the lives of people. There are those who begin on the right path and somewhere along the way, the path turns wrong. On the opposite end, there are also those who begin wrong, but then recover and turn to the right.
“If the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions which he has done will not be remembered against him” (Ezekiel 18:21-22). In other words, God allows us to make U-Turns. He allows us to change our path from destruction to eternal life. No matter how much debt we have accumulated in the Bank of Heaven, God will cancel it all if we turn to Him.
On the other hand, Ezekiel warns the righteous person not to trust in his past deeds, but to persevere and remain faithful to the LORD. “But if the righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does … all the abominations that a wicked man does … all his righteous deeds will not be remembered because of his treachery which he has committed … he will die” (Ezekiel 18:24). In other words, don’t coast along in your walk with God. Do not slack off in the disciplines that will keep you spiritually healthy – prayer, reading and studying the Scripture, meditation, fellowship with God’s people, and Christian service.
And why does God give such a warning? “‘As I live,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” (Ezekiel 33:11; 18:23). As Jesus explained, “There is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). Jesus stated that the Father’s intention is that His “house may be full” (Luke 14:23). God does not want a single empty place in heaven. He is not willing that anyone should perish (2 Peter 3:9) but desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, God always endeavors to turn us from the wrong path and to keep us on the right.
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, I seem to make many wrong turns in my life. When I stray, please draw me back into Your loving arms. Keep me, O Lord, on the way that leads to life eternal. Amen.
[i] Information from Janet Spencer, Yellowstone Trivia; http://www.yellowstoneparknet.com; “Isa Lake,” Wikipedia; and (http://www.wyomingtourism.org/ overview/Yellowstone-National-Park--Isa-Lake/32530).
The content of this article comes from “The Warrior’s Bible” (2014) and is copyrighted by Life Publishers International. Used with permission.