Today's section and tomorrow's are some of my favorite passages in all the book of Proverbs. Heed the words of our devotion today.
Verses 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 "in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." One of the great mountain peak verses for the Christian life comes into view. How often are we tempted to rely upon our own understanding of the issues of life? The Author of wisdom directs us to lean not (that is, trust not) upon our own understanding. That is a hard pill to swallow for proud men. Rather, God’s advice is to trust in the Lord with all our hearts. In every decision and juncture of life, God’s wisdom is to trust Him or look to Him. Life is full of forks in the road. An individual who continually seeks God’s direction for each decision will never go wrong. We often get into trouble because we rely upon our own understanding for decisions which must be made. His way is never wrong. It is always the best. Also, notice that such trust must be with all of our heart. Total and complete trust is in view. We ought to rely only upon the Lord, and that with all of our heart. Again verse six states, 6 "in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." The word translated as acknowledge literally means ‘to know.’ The thought is that in all of our ways or decisions to know His leading. The result is that “He shall direct thy paths.” What a wonderful assurance. As we trust Him and seek His leading, He shall direct our paths. As we turn to Him for guidance, He will give guidance and wisdom. The thought in James 1:5 is a close parallel. How can we go wrong when His guidance is so readily available.
Verses 3:7-8 "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." What a profound sequence of truth. (1) Be not wise in our own eyes. It is an imperative. The thought is closely related to leaning upon our own understanding. Being wise in our own eyes is the pride of life. It is a wicked self-sufficiency, relying upon our own judgment rather than upon Him who knows what is ahead. One truly wise does not think himself so. The irony is that fools often consider themselves as wise. True wisdom comes from reliance upon Him who is wisdom personified. (2) The second imperative is to “fear the LORD”. On seven different occasions in the Bible, we are commanded to fear the Lord. Truly, "the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever..." (Psalm 19:9). Moreover, "...by the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6). (3) The third imperative is to “depart from evil.” The principle of separation is at hand. Though evil often presents itself in an attractive form, the Bible says to depart from evil. These three injunctions from the Author of wisdom are profound wisdom indeed.
And when these three imperatives are obeyed, the result is that 8 "it shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." The mention of one’s navel and marrow speaks of the innermost part of one’s being. Solomon is speaking metaphorically. Health in our innermost being speaks of richness and fullness of life. It implies peace and tranquility. In short, as we develop the three virtues described above, God will bless our lives. That blessing is both direct and indirect. These three virtues in and of themselves will bring blessing naturally. Yet, God likely will send divine blessing on top of the natural blessing.
May you be blessed as you meditate upon the truths of these great verses.
Your Friend and His,