A Different Path.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
The Proverbs are full of comparisons, juxtapositions, and contrasts. There is wisdom and foolishness, wickedness and righteousness, and the God-follower and the self-worshiper. These sayings of Solomon paint a vivid picture that contrasts the life of the man who seeks after God and the man who turns his back on God, setting himself up as the master of his own fate and the captain of his soul. Solomon writes from the perspective of a father appealing to his child, begging his son to make attaining wisdom and understanding his highest priority. But in doing so, Solomon is not suggesting that his son pursue academic knowledge. He is not encouraging the pursuit of human reason or head-knowledge. He is spurring on his son to pursue God – the sole source of all wisdom, knowledge, reason, and common sense. Getting to know God is the goal, not gaining wisdom for wisdom’s sake. Solomon tells his son, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 NLT). How easy it is for each of us to trust in anything and everything, but God. Rather than trust God, we turn to our own limited understanding and attempt to explain the complexities of life and solve the difficulties that come with living life on this planet. If we lack joy, we attempt to find it through means made possible through this world. If we feel unloved, we seek satisfaction and significance through such avenues as the pursuit of pleasure or promiscuity. We seek – but we tend to seek in the wrong places.
But Solomon told his son, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:6 NLT). He reminds his son that wisdom brings joy, is profitable, valuable, precious, and is the key to long life. But it only comes from one source – God. Wisdom, true wisdom, flows from God. It is available nowhere else but from God. Our ability to live life on this planet well is dependent upon the wisdom and understanding that God alone provides. But it comes from a relationship, not just a book. I learn wisdom from watching and coming to know God, not just by reading about Him. Wisdom is part of who God is. It is His very character. Wisdom, understanding and knowledge do not exist apart from God. What the world offers is a cheap substitute. At their core, wisdom and understanding are spiritual resources, not academic or cerebral. They flow from a right relationship with God. Solomon tells us, “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7 NLT). The fool wants nothing to do with God. He desires wisdom and understanding, but doesn’t want the relationship with God necessary to have them. He does not want the loving discipline that also comes from God that are required to truly learn wisdom and understanding. But those who long to have a relationship with God will find that wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are the byproducts of their pursuit of God.
Father, don’t let me make wisdom and understanding the focus of my pursuit. Help me keep You as my sole desire. Those things will come as I grow in my knowledge of and love for You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men