Proverbs 16:1-4

In Proverbs 16:1-4 Solomon reminds us that people are planners. God plans and prepares, and because man is made in the image of God it is in the nature of man to make plans. Many of us attempt to plan, but the reality is that God alone can truly plan and have the plan become the exact outcome since He knows all and sees all.  The more we can align with His plans, the more likely the outcome will be what we plan. “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” God alone has the answer to our desire to plan.  He knows all, sees all, and has the answer for our every question and need.  So planning should drive us toward God where we can seek His guidance and direction.

As humans, we see things from our own point of view. By instinct, men and women justify themselves and see their own ways as pure. Some of the most criminal and violent people have thought of themselves as pure in their own eyes. We deceive ourselves when we fail to compare our ways with God’s ways, which are the only true measure of what pure truly is. “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” The measuring stick is not how we are compared to what we think we should be, but how we are in relationship to God’s standards.  And the reality is we will fall short, every time, all the time.  We can’t really evaluate ourselves but need to seek God’s Spirit and His Word to provide the tools for evaluation.

Solomon gives us the secret to getting things done. It isn’t about what we do or how we do it or how hard we work.  It’s about our commitment. Every man and woman should commit their works to the LORD. They should depend on God in their works and they should do those works as unto the LORD. “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” We need to give our work to the Lord and leave it there.  We can’t give and then take it back. Usually we think of committing our thoughts or plans to the Lord, then committing our works to Him. Here Solomon reversed that order, and told us to first commit our works, then trust that our thoughts and plans will be established.

There is a reason for all things.  God has made no mistakes in His creation.  There are no loose ends in God’s design.  Everything has a place, even things that seem to be a misfit in our eyes.  But God made things on purpose, for a purpose.  That is true of every human on the planet too.  God has made each unique with not only our physical being, but also the purpose of our life. “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” It can be difficult to understand how some of the wicked or evil can possibly fit into a plan of God’s, but Solomon is clear that they do, and God is indeed author of all of Creation, not just the things we think are as expected.

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