Proverbs 3:5-8

Proverbs 3:5‑8  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 6
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Confidence in God, and in the relationship He forms for us with Him, is the fruit of faith. It is the next call here; and it found ever the sure answer of His grace. It ought to be still more easy for the Christian, seeing that how many soever be the promises of God, in Christ is the Yea; wherefore also through Him is the Amen unto the glory of God through us. This is just as it should be for the saints passing through a wilderness world. If all were fulfilled in us, the changed state of glorification would be incompatible with the needed trial. But that they are fulfilled in Him, that in Him is the Yea, is the ground of peace and joy and comfort; and victory for us is exactly what the God of all grace meant that we should have in the fullest measure by the Holy Ghost given to us. For we have in Christ's redemption the remission of our sins, and only await His coming for adoption, the redemption of our bodies, having already the Spirit of the Son sent into our hearts crying, Abba, Father. What a power of deliverance from leaning upon our own understanding!
“Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own discernment; in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall make straight thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear Jehovah, and depart from evil; it shall be health for thy navel, and moisture for thy bones” (vers. 5-8).
Worthily does the chapter open with the call to trust in Jehovah. As He, He only, is God, so was He the God of the fathers, the God of Israel. How blessed for the Israelite that he had Him to trust in! that He even demanded his trust! He was in no way exhorted to trust himself. He was but a creature whose breath is in his nostrils: what is he to be accounted of? It was wise to have done with man to lean on, wiser still to trust in Jehovah. Yes, He was and is the eternal God, merciful, gracious, slow to wrath, great in goodness and truth, keeping His goodness to thousands of generations, pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin, yet holding no guilty one as innocent, but visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the sons and on the sons of sons, on the third and on the fourth generation. Not that this is His language to the Christian or the church, but just His declaration of Himself to Moses the mediator for Israel, that they should know His governing character and principles.
Yes, it was good and right to trust in Jehovah with all the heart, and to “lean not on one's own discernment,” as the tempter always advises to ruin, sorrow, and shame. This is the divine counsel for the heart. But the Israelite needed also to “acknowledge Him in all his ways.” And the heart if loyal would prompt to honor Him thus. For practical inconsistency is a burden to the upright; and it is due to Jehovah to own Him where He is apt to be ignored, or forgotten in each detail of walk, and in them all. Nor was it even without present fruit, for He could not be unmindful Who never slumbers or sleeps. “And He shall make straight thy paths.” He is Lord of all, no less than He is the Eternal, and concerns Himself with every obstacle and difficulty for such as would walk unswervingly according to His will.
The great danger for all, though for some of thought and experience more than others, is to seek counsel from within. Yet experience should have taught the reflecting a less flattering tale. All scripture re-echoes what is here written, “Be not wise in thine own eyes.” The bait of Satan was to become so; and man has ever coveted it. How blessed when we learn our folly and find an incomparably better wisdom open to us! Certainly to the Christian, to them that are called both Jews and Greeks, the crucified Christ preached to us is God's power and God's wisdom. What they counted foolishness is wiser than men; and what looked the extremity of weakness is stronger than men. Of God are we in Christ Jesus, Who from God was made to us wisdom and all things. Well may we glory in Him.
But there is a word for conscience as well as heart; and none the less now, but more when, having been purged once for all, we have no more conscience of sins. “Fear Jehovah, and depart from evil.” Was there ever true fear of Him without pardon? Certainly Psa. 130:44But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. (Psalm 130:4) makes clear, that there is pardon with Him that He may be feared. Without it, what can the fear be but servile and tainted? This nerves the soul to “depart from evil.” We hate it, because He hates it; and such doubtless it is in itself, intrinsically evil. We turn away from what the serpent commands, trembling at His word. A son honors his father, a servant his master. His honor, His fear, are no longer light things to us. And the effect is wholesome and blessed. “It shall be health for thy navel, and moisture for thy bones.” The boast of altruism might perhaps in a way suit an angel, not a sinner nor a saint. We need to be blessed that we may be a blessing to others; we need and have God in Christ the Lord and Savior. We love Him because He first loved us. Is it a wonder that all then goes on well? How sad when it is not so!
Read Job 1:1-8; 2:31There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 2And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 3His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. 4And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. 6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. 7And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? (Job 1:1‑8)
3And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. (Job 2:3)
; and think what pleasure God takes in him that fears Himself and abstains from evil. He knew all the while the weak point and danger for Job; but Satan failed to reach it by his hostile measures, Jehovah did through Job's friends, though they were beyond comparison more faulty than Job, and indebted to his intercession to shield them from His dealing according to their folly, wise as they had thought themselves.