Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5
Relationship with God
The basic wisdom issues touched on in Proverbs have to do with personal relationship with God. Only if we know Him and respond to Him will the rest of the counsel in this book produce fruit.
This chapter mentions several basic principles of relationship with God. We are to trust the Lord completely, and acknowledge Him in all we do. We are to rely on God’s Word rather than our human wisdom. We are to honor God by giving generously. And we are to remember when hard times come that God loves us still and see our most difficult experiences as the disciplinary love of a Father who cares for us deeply.
3:5, 6 The words trust in the Lord echo the command of Deut. 6:5 to love God with all our being. The verb trust is complemented by the verb “lean.” Trusting in God is a conscious dependence on God, much like leaning on a tree for support. The idea is reinforced here by the command to acknowledge Him, which means to observe Him and get to know Him in the process of living. In doing so, a person finds time and time again that God smooths out paths.
3:13-18 Happy: The beatitudes of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3-12) work much the way these verses do. The Hebrew term blessed is an explosive word: “O the manifold happiness of” (see Ps. 1:1). It implies that God is truly pleased. The person who has discovered wisdom has found a priceless treasure. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and forbidden access to the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-24), but wisdom is another tree of life and will begin to restore the lost happiness of Paradise.
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; 14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her.
3:19, 20 by wisdom founded the earth: One central theme in Proverbs is the association of wisdom with creation. Chapter 8 is devoted to this theme.
** We can lean on a rock, against a wall, a strong leader or on ourselves. I’d rather lean on God. Forming a relationship with God means consciously leaning on Him. Trusting Him. The strongest support there is. He is not merely a lifeless support. When we lean on Him, He let us be grafted onto Him and we are strengthened by Him.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
3 1 My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; 2 For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, 4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights. 13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; 14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her. 19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; 20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew. 21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes– Keep sound wisdom and discretion; 22 So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck. 23 Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; 26 For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you. 29 Do not devise evil against your neighbor, For he dwells by you for safety’s sake. 30 Do not strive with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy the oppressor, And choose none of his ways; 32 For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, But His secret counsel is with the upright. 33 The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the just. 34 Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble. 35 The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools.