Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bible Truth #137 - Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6
5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I understand this passage much differently than a lot of Christians. Most misunderstand this Scripture in the same way they misunderstand the Lord’s prayer as I explained in a previous post (Bible Truth #135). This is NOT a cause and effect, or an “if..., then” that can be applied to our life or belief. God has a plan and He NEVER reacts to something we do, as if He was waiting to see what we would do. He knows what we will do because He has already appointed us to do it. He directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9), He works in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). It appears that the simple understanding of this is that IF you will acknowledge God in all your ways, THEN he will direct your paths.

Nope. There is no IF in the Proverb. It says in all your ways acknowledge God. It does NOT say IF you will acknowledge God in all your ways... This understanding is supported in the following Scriptures, (Proverbs 16:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Philippians 4:4, 4:6; Ephesians 5:20) and this is a clear reference to God’s sovereignty in that we should acknowledge God in every situation and circumstance in our life because He has ordained it and appointed it to occur.

Second of all, the word after the comma is AND, not THEN.

This is my opinion but it is a conclusion derived from what the Bible says everywhere about God’s sovereignty: I believe this Proverb is better translated “In all thy ways acknowledge God because He is directing your path.”

Why is that my understanding? Am I an expert in the Biblical languages? Of course not, but I listen to the Holy Spirit (John 16:13) and I am always aware that I could be wrong and that He may reveal something to me that He hadn’t revealed before (like God’s sovereignty in Election).

Since no Scripture is of private interpretation (meaning there is no contradiction in Scripture), and since there are many other places in which God tells us that He directs the paths of men (one being Proverbs 16:9), Proverbs 3:6 has simply put two precepts together.

One is that we should give thanks FOR everything (Ephesians 5:20) and IN everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18) because He has ordained or appointed everything that happens to us, He has set and determined the course we are to run (Hebrews 12:1) - therefore by thanking Him we are acknowledging He reigns over us.

Two is God’s sovereignty in directing our paths - His will IS being done on earth the same way it IS being done in Heaven. As Paul writes in Romans 8:28 in ALL things God works together for good... not in SOME things but in ALL things.

Other passages include:

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Isaiah 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:


How does this tie in to Election? God is sovereign and nothing occurs without God’s predetermined, fore-ordained will. Those He has chosen (i.e. the Elect, the Bride of Christ, the Church), WILL be saved and it WILL occur at the appointed time of His choosing. Those He did NOT choose, will NOT be saved. The Lamb’s Book of Life is already written and there are no names being added to it. It was written before the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8) - and Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) for those whose names were written in His Book - and ONLY those. (Ephesians 5:25)

Proverbs 16:9 - In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Why? Because God is in control and has determined your steps!
Philippians 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. I will say it again: Rejoice! Why? Because God is in control and has determined your steps!
Philippians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything,… Why? Because God is in control and has determined your steps!
Ephesians 5:20 - always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why? Because God is in control and has determined your steps!
Romans 8:28 - And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Why? Because God is in control and has determined your steps!

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