In his book, Dune universe, Frank Herbert uses the term ‘The Golden Path’ to refer to character, Leto II Atreides’s strategy to prevent humanity’s ultimate destruction. The Golden Path is the main driving force in all of Herbert’s novels, however, what the golden path represents, remains a mystery to Herbert’s readers even to this day. As a believer of the Bible, the concept of the golden path is very intriguing. Herbert’s idea of the golden path being a solution to prevent humanity’s descruction, brings to my mind, the ‘plan of redemption’. We are no experts in the Bible, but the plan of redemption is a somewhat similar ‘concept’ to that of Atreides’s. It is a plan to redeem or save humanity from destruction; a mystery whose unveiling is still pending. The aim: to give humanity the opportunity of eternal life.
Christian author, Ellen White describes this plan of redemption most poignantly in the book Patriarchs and Prophets. She writes, “The Son of God, heaven’s glorious Commander, was touched with pity for the fallen race. His heart was moved with infinite compassion as the woes of the lost world rose up before Him. But divine love had conceived a plan whereby man might be redeemed. The broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. In all the universe there was but one who could, in behalf of man, satisfy its claims. Since the divine law is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin–sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race.
Before the Father He pleaded in the sinner’s behalf, while the host of heaven awaited the result with an intensity of interest that words cannot express. Long continued was that mysterious communing–“the counsel of peace” (Zechariah 6:13) for the fallen sons of men. The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth; for Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8); yet it was a struggle, even with the King of the universe, to yield up His Son to die for the guilty race. But “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Oh, the mystery of redemption! The love of God for a world that did not love Him! Who can know the depths of that love which “passeth knowledge”? Through endless ages immortal minds, seeking to comprehend the mystery of that incomprehensible love, will wonder and adore.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, page 63,64).
Herbert may have taken a page out of the Creator’s book (no pun intended). What a brilliant plan this is! The plan to save a sinful creed from self-destruction and grant him not just life, but ETERNAL LIFE. Peter, the disciple of Christ, said, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). Ezekiel added that the Lord does not have any pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn away from his wicked ways and live! (Ezekiel 18:23).
But why? Why the plan of redemption? Why is God adamant about redeeming us? God said, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3). Herein lies the catalyst to the golden path – love. But not just any ordinary love, the love of God. But why hasn’t all of humanity accepted this love? I’ve concluded that it’s either, they have not been told, or they’ve chosen against it. For those who have not heard about God’s love, the Bible says, “We love him, because he first loved us.”(1 John 4:19). His love was there even before you knew. For those who’ve chosen against this love, your reasons may be valid. The disappointments, destructions, pains and perils of life can sometimes lead us to building up a wall around our hearts that we might even want to exclude God from. God reassures us in Isaiah, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you.” (Isaiah 43:2). Some, like many have experienced, have wandered away from God; for even this God has a remedy, “And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:3-7).
We are not experts on the Bible, but we can see that the Almighty has prepared a means to reach every category. You see, the (true) golden path is not popular. It is the least tried, least tested, but it has guaranteed to be found true by those who’ve travelled it. It calls for a life of self-surrender, self-sacrifice and servitude. It shuns the temporal ideology of what success is and demands a full abandonment of self and sin. Although golden, it is not characterized by ‘golden experiences’, but only a golden outcome. That outcome is a surrendered life, a converted heart and a golden character than outshines the brightest star in celestial sky.
“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.”
– Job 23:10-