Archive for January 25th, 2019

Proverbs 16:9-11

In Proverbs 16:9-11 Solomon begins by talking about planning.  There are many reasons planning makes sense, but we need to do it in alignment with God’s plans for us, not as a declarative way we want the future to be.  God alone knows the future, but it is important for us to be intentional about how we use our time, talent and treasure which is what planning is all about. So planning is not a bad thing. We, as the God in whose image we are made, need to think about and plan our way. Many people would do well to more carefully plan their way. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

The reality is that God alone determines the outcome. We plan as we can and should, but we should never think that our ability to plan makes us lord over our lives. It is the LORD who directs our steps.  He alone is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Every plan we make should be held in humility before God and surrender to His ultimate will. We can plan our path in the future to the last detail, but we cannot implement and complete the plan unless it coincides with God’s plan for us. There will likely be some contrast between what we actually plan and what actually happens—God determines that. The change may be a little or a lot, but we must not forget that God is able to do abundantly more than we ask or think.  Our plans may actually be far less than what God has in mind.

Solomon reminds us that leaders should have something valuable to share – oracle here is the sense of wise guidance, the wisdom that should be on the lips of the king. That might change everything that happens in our governments around the world – if they would only speed when they have something wise to share.  It would be a lot quieter in the chambers of most legislatures.  “An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.” The same lips that must speak wisdom and discernment should not also be used to go beyond God’s wisely appointed boundaries of judgment. Those who are in positions of authority are not empowered to ignore God’s laws but rather to uphold and follow them.

God does care about what happens in the marketplace too.  Fair business is so pleasing to God that it can be said that honest measures belong to Him. All of God’s measurements and assessments are fair and true. The proper measure does not come from the king, nor does it belong to the king. The right measure comes from God and belongs to Him. And we are required to act in the same way to be in obedience to Him. “A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work.” Fair and honest business is God’s business, His work. God should not be absent in the marketplace but in the center of all that happens.

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