Such peace in this fact. It’s not me, but God who’s got the final say, and not simply for me, a Christian; it applies for everyone. Let me explain. We all have desires to succeed, become affluent, increase our influence, and live long. But failure, bankruptcy, unpopularity and cancer come almost indiscriminately. Life is a puzzle to work out at times (or something to just simply accept).
And so this is the premise we begin with, in Proverbs 16. The first seven proverbs speak powerfully of the above truth, but let us consider the first three:
“To human beings belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue. People may think all their ways are pure, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” –Proverbs 16:1-3 (TNIV).This is a wonderful introduction. God’s the one in control; our motives are most incisively known by God; he blesses those motives which are truly wholesome. Verse 9 provides a refrain--it’s only God who ‘establishes’ or ‘determines’ our steps. He’s the director of life.
There’s such reassurance in the fact that when we’re in tune with God, and at harmony with his purposes, he makes even our enemies live at peace with us (v. 7). He makes all the metrics of life, and the fairness of same can’t be disputed (v. 11), and they’re so brutally fair we at times see them as unfair. Go figure!
The resonant message encountered previously, that of ‘heeding instruction,’ is maintained. It is he or she who heeds discipline and instruction who’s blessed because they patently trust in God--and his plans for them (v. 20).
Patience precedes discipline and instruction. Those with self-control (v. 32) prosper powerfully. They cooperate with the cadence of the Most High.
Finally, we’re all apt at ‘casting lots’ to discern God’s will, whether we pray or we just simply try to determine the odds before a decision is made. (Even betting men and women do this.) No matter the casting of lots, however, the executive decision is God’s alone (v. 33).
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.