” Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. “
– Proverbs 3:5-6 –
Commentary by Enduring Word
Trust in the Lord: Solomon advised his son to live a life of trust in Yahweh. Solomon had found that God was worthy to be trusted. It is our nature to put our trust in something or someone, even if it is our self. Solomon told us to consciously put our trust in the Lord, the covenant God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“The word translated ‘trust’ in verse 5 means ‘to lie helpless, facedown.’ It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general.” (Wiersbe)
“To trust in God is to be unbottomed of thyself, and of every creature, and so to lean upon God, that if he fail thee thou sinkest.” (Trapp)
With all your heart: If trust in God is to be true, it must be complete. To put half trust in God and half trust in self or something else is really failure to trust the Lord at all. We should endeavor to give God all our conscious trust.
“They trust not God at all that do it not alone. He that stands with one foot on a rock, and another foot upon a quicksand, will sink and perish as certainly as he that stands with both feet on a quicksand.” (Trapp)
This aspect troubles some, because they fear there is some part of their heart that is not truly trusting God. We may sympathize with this concern, knowing that as imperfect people it is impossible for us to trust in the Lord perfectly. In principle, we gather that Proverbs 3:5-6 does not describe an objectively perfect trust in God, but a heart and life that does not consciously reject or defy God with unbelief.
In fact, the following phrases will explain what Solomon intended with the phrase with all your heart.
“This trust is not the mere cold assent of enlightened judgment. It is trust … with all your heart. It is a childlike, unwavering confidence in our Father’s well-proved wisdom, faithfulness, and love.” (Bridges)
Lean not on your own understanding: Trusting God with all our heart means to decide to put away our own understanding and instead to choose to trust God and His understanding, especially as declared in His word.
Lean not: “Do not rely, or lean as on a broken crutch, depicts what is meant by ‘trust.’” (Waltke)
“It is on GOD, not on thyself, that thou art commanded to depend. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool…Self-sufficiency and self-dependence have been the ruin of mankind ever since the fall of Adam. The grand sin of the human race is their continual endeavour to live independently of God.” (Clarke)
In all your ways acknowledge Him: Trusting God with all our heart means to honor and acknowledge Him in all that we do. It is the choice to “invite” God into our everyday life and conduct. It is to practice the presence of God in the regular and sometimes mundane things that happen every day.
In all your ways acknowledge: “Ask counsel at his mouth, aim at his glory, be evermore in the sense of his presence, and light of his countenance.” (Trapp)
He shall direct your paths: This is the great principle of God’s response towards those who trust Him in the way described in the previous lines. When we acknowledge Him in our ways, He will direct our paths in the fulfillment of His will, into what is right before Him and pleasing to us.
More than a few are afraid to have God direct their paths. They would much rather direct themselves! This, fundamentally, is the heart that does not trust in the Lord with all the heart. The surrendered heart delights in God’s direction and in God’s paths.
One of the most frequently asked questions among believers is, “How can I know the will of God?” In principle, Solomon gave a wonderful answer in Proverbs 3:5-6. When we:
· Decide to put our trust in the Lord.
· Decide to not trust in our own understanding, but give attention and priority to God’s revealed word.
· Decide to acknowledge and honor God in all that we do.
When we do those things, we can trust that God will direct our paths. We can go forward in peace, believing that through His word, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, through the counsel of others, through godly common sense, and through life circumstances, God will direct our paths. We will walk along our way of life and come to see that we have been on the path God intended all along.
G. Campbell Morgan gave his own testimony to the truth of Proverbs 3:5-6: “The‚Ä®measure in which I have trusted Jehovah‚Ä®and acknowledged Him, has been the‚Ä®measure of walking in the paths of real‚Ä®life.”