Day 1: Fear and Wisdom (1:7)
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Proverbs is full of memorable quotes that often crop up in sermons or when one person exhorts another, and our text today could well be at top the list. Our text is wedged between two related thoughts: the benefits that follow from keeping God’s commands (3:1-4) and the blessings that ensue when we put God first in our lives (3:7-10). Our text is one that we can refer to every day of our lives as it always applies. But first, let us break down our text into four components:
Trust in the Lord – the exhortation to trust the Lord as opposed to ourselves, anyone or anything else, is repeated many times in the Bible, but the reality is that too often there is a “but” as to why we do not do what we are told.
Lean not unto thine own understanding – the natural human tendency is for ourselves to be the key to getting understanding, which as we discussed earlier is something desirable. The message here is clear – it ought to be Him, not us.
In all thy ways acknowledge him – we also tend often to forget or ignore the Lord in the plethora of activities that occupy us in life, and that is a mistake. It would be true to say that the more we acknowledge Him the more He blesses.
He shall direct thy paths – we all need to be guided throughout our journey in life, easy and hard, big and small, right now and long term, and we can all look back on making right choices and wrong choices. But the climax of our text is that if we do what is required of us, He will guide us on the right path.
As far as material for meditation, in this like in many chapters we are spoilt for choice, and while some of the thoughts we do not share now will crop up in later chapters and we will reflect on, just in case they do not, we set a marker here. The following then are some texts, relevant for today, worth pondering:
- “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh” (v25)
- “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it” (v27)
- “Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways” (v31)
- “He scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly” (v34)
Prayer: we thank you Lord it is ever your desire to direct our paths and that is true for the big and hard choices we have to make as well as the small and easy ones. We are sorry we don’t always trust and acknowledge you or lean on our own understanding. Today we put our trust in you and give you all the glory.