Trust In the Lord.
“I am teaching you today – yes, you – so you will trust in the Lord.” – Proverbs 22:19 NLT
The book of Proverbs is not just some compendium of ancient wisdom writings. While Solomon wrote and collected many of these sayings from the wise men of his day and from those of the past, the real hero of this book is the Lord. This was not just a book of wise sayings meant to fill the heads of its readers and provide them with some self-help tips for living more successful lives. This was a book about God and man’s relationship with Him. The wisdom Solomon talks about is God’s wisdom. The understanding, discernment, knowledge and common sense he describes and encourages his readers to seek come from one place and one place only – God. Solomon wants his readers to hear his words and listen to them, but he has an ultimate reason behind his pleas. He wants them to trust in the Lord. He wants them to put their confidence in God. The sayings found in the book of Proverbs reveal the truth of God and expose the lies of this world. They paint an accurate picture of reality. They provide practical, real-life advice about everyday affairs because they reveal truth as God sees it and life as God intends it. While the world takes advantage of the poor or simply disregards or ignores them, God says they have value and are to be protected and provided for. God tells us that children are born fools and require persistent, aggressive training. God exposes the truth about immorality and the danger it poses to us when we lack His wisdom and discernment. God tells us the truth about everything from money and relationships to the value of a good reputation.
But the point of it all is that we might place our confidence in God. We need to trust Him and nothing else. This world is deceitful, distracting, and potentially dangerous. Without Him, we are incapable of surviving in this hostile environment. Left to our own devices we will make unwise choices, and fail to see life as it really is. Many of the sayings in the book of Proverbs make perfectly good sense, while others seem nonsensical or even untrue. Many of the warnings against the wicked never seem to come true in daily life. They seem to prosper and succeed, not suffer. But we need to trust God when He tells us that their way leads to death and destruction. When we read that “true humility and the fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor and long life” (Proverbs 22:4 NLT), we are tempted to question the truth of a statement like that. We can easily conclude that it’s not true because we have yet to see it played out in our own lives. But we need to trust God. We need to believe that He will honor those who humbly place their trust in Him – on His terms and in His timing.
When God tells us not to make friends with angry people, we need to trust Him. When He tells us NOT to guarantee another person’s debt, we need to trust Him. When He tells us not to cheat our neighbor or attempt to take advantage of another person through deceit or trickery, we need to trust Him. We he tells us He will defend the poor and deal harshly with those who exploit them, we need to trust that He will do what He says. Think of it this way. When are children are young, we give them instructions. We teach them and expect them trust us and do what we say. We have their best interest in mind. We tell them to stay away from the street and not play near it. But it looks so tempting to them. They see no danger in it. But their well-being is dependent on them trusting us. When we tell them not to touch a hot stove, we want them to trust us so that they will not encounter the potential pain associated with their action. But sometimes they refuse to listen and they go ahead and do what they want to do. And they suffer as a result. God knows that is best for us. He is all-wise, all-knowing and all-loving. Through the Proverbs He is giving us His insights into life. He is providing with wisdom for life. But we need to trust Him and rely on His word – even when it may not make sense or appears as if it will rob us of pleasure. Trust Him, because He is trustworthy.
Father, thank You that You are always looking out for my best interest. You love me and are always trying to instruct me and provide me with Your truth. I know I don’t always listen or obey. I don’t always trust You or believe that Your way is best, because I too often do things my way instead. Forgive me. Continue to teach me. May Your Spirit continue His process of prompting me and empowering me to do Your will, Your way. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men