Scripture reading – Proverbs 3; Proverbs 4
Our chronological reading of the Scriptures continues in the book of Proverbs. Understanding it is impossible to mine the spiritual richness of this study in godly wisdom in a few brief devotionals, I invite you to avail yourself of my year-long study in Proverbs, which can be found at www.HeartofAShepherd.com.
Today’s Scripture reading is Proverbs 3 and 4. As with all the chapters in Proverbs, the number of verses and couplets of wisdom are daunting if addressed in a brief devotional. This devotional is taken from a well-known and often quoted favorite of Solomon’s proverbs, Proverbs 3:5-6.
“Who (or what) do you trust?” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I begin today’s study by asking: “Who (or what) do you trust?” Some put their faith in the counsel of friends. Yet, I find few whose counsel is spiritually wise and should be trusted.
Some trust in their intellect. Others advise, “Follow your heart” or “Trust your heart.” Yet, the Scriptures warn: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Tragically, some make life-changing, unalterable decisions that shadow their future. They fail to pray, seek counsel, and wait on the Lord.
Knowing his son would one day be king and hold in his hands the power of life and death, Solomon counseled his son:
“Trust in the LORD.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Proverbs 3:5 – “Trust [lean on; hope; be confident and secure] in the LORD [Jehovah, Eternal, Self-existent God] with all thine heart [mind, emotions, will]; and lean not [do not trust] unto thine own understanding [wisdom; knowledge].”
What does it mean to “Trust in the LORD?” It means to be so close and dependent on the LORD that His Word and Spirit guide every thought and action. Please permit me to offer you some counsel of my own. Before you make decisions in matters that require wisdom and discernment, consider the following four steps:
- Cultivate knowledge and understanding by reading and obeying God’s Word.
- Bathe every decision in prayer and the light of truth.
- Seek counsel from those whose lives are a testimony of godly wisdom and discernment. (Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 24:6)
- Trust the Lord: Wait on Him and weigh every thought, motive, and action in the light of His Word.
Submit Everything to the LORD (Proverbs 3:6)
Proverbs 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge [observe; know; recognize] Him [the LORD], and He shall direct [make smooth and straight; prosper; make pleasant] thy paths.”
A practical application of Proverbs 3:6 is that you should never make a vow, sign a contract, or make a commitment that you have not committed to prayer and patience (Psalm 27:14). Solomon challenged his son to acknowledge the Lord “in all thy ways.” In other words, no matter was too small for the young prince to take to the Lord and seek His direction.
Closing thoughts –
Are you facing a major life decision? Have you cultivated wisdom by studying and meditating on God’s Word? (Psalm 1:1-2) Have you prayed and sought godly counsel? Will you be patient, wait on the Lord, and allow Him to guide your choices and make the way smooth and straight?
I close with a verse from a psalm attributed to King David. Perhaps Solomon’s counsel to his son arose from his father’s counsel to him:
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait on [patiently wait] the LORD: be of good courage [strong; courageous], and he shall strengthen [make you steadfast and stronger; bold] thine heart [thoughts; seat of your affections]: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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