Proverbs 3:5, 6, 7
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding.
If we would realize God's thought concerning us, we shall -
I. CHERISH A DEEP DISTRUST OF OURSELVES. We are not to "lean unto our own understanding," or to "be wise in our own eyes" (vers. 5, 7).
1. We shall certainly have a sense of our own insufficiency if we weigh our own human weakness; if we consider how little we know of
(1) human nature generally; and of
(2) our own hearts in particular; of
(3) the real character and disposition of those connected with us; of
(4) the whole circle of law by which we are surrounded on every side; of
(5) the events which are in the (even) near future; of
(6) the ultimate effect of our decisions on our circumstances and our character.
2. So also if we consider the disastrous results that have followed presumption in this matter. How often have we seen men, confident of their own capacity, staking everything on their own judgment, and miserably disappointed with the issue! Men of this spirit, who carry self-reliance (which is a virtue) to an exaggerated and false assurance of their own sagacity, not only dig a deep grave for their own happiness, but usually involve others also in their ruin. Neither in
(1) the affairs of this life, nor
(2) in the larger issues of the spiritual realm, should we lean all the weight of our own and of others' prosperity on our own poor finite understanding.
II. LOOK DEVOUTLY UPWARD. We are to maintain:
1. A whole-hearted trust in God (ver. 5). A profound assurance that
(1) he is regarding us;
(2) he is divinely interested in our welfare;
(3) he will see that we have all we need, and go in the way in which it is best for us to walk.
2. A continual acknowledgment (ver. 6). We are to acknowledge God
(1) by referring everything to him in our own heart;
(2) by consulting and applying his will as revealed in his Word;
(3) by praying for and expecting his Divine direction; so shall we acknowledge him "in all our ways."
This trust and acknowledgment are inclusive and not exclusive of our own individual endeavour. We are to think well, to consult wisely, to act diligently, and then to trust wholly. Whoso does the last without the first is guiltily and daringly presumptuous; whoso does the first without the last is guiltily irreverent and unbelieving.
III. RECKON CONFIDENTLY ON DIVINE DIRECTION. "He shall direct thy paths" (ver. 6). As a very little child, left alone in the streets of a great city, can but wander aimlessly about, and will surely fail of reaching home, so we, lost in the maze of this seething, struggling, incomprehensible world - world of circumstance and world of thought - can but make vain guesses as to our true course, and are certain to wander far from the home of God. What the shrewdest and cleverest of men most urgently and sorely need is the guiding hand of a heavenly Father, who, through all the labyrinths of life, past all the by paths of error and evil, will conduct us to truth, righteousness, wisdom, heaven. If we trust him wholly, and acknowledge him freely and fully, we may confidently expect that he will
(1) lead our feet along the path of outward life;
(2) guide our minds into the sanctuary of heavenly truth;
(3) help our souls up the ennobling heights of holiness;
(4) direct our steps to the gates of the city of God; and
(5) finally welcome us within its "golden streets." - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.