Proverbs (Part 028) - Pro 3:6-7


6. Pro 3:6 - "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." A. In all thy ways acknowledge him. i. Here is the result of, and motivation for, trusting in the LORD with all of our hearts and leaning not unto our own understanding: divine guidance. ii. Having God direct our paths is contingent upon us acknowledging Him in all our ways. a. Acknowledge v. - 1. To own the knowledge of; to confess; to recognize or admit as true. b. In other words, in all that we think and do, we must recognize God and admit that He is true. c. This brings to mind the words of the apostle Paul who wrote, "yea, let God be true, but every man a liar" (Rom 3:4). iii. Acknowledging God is recognizing and confessing that His Son Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh (1Ti 3:16; Joh 1:14). a. Those who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God do not acknowledge God, for "whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also" (1Jo 2:23). b. This means that Jews, Muslims, and all other non-Christians have no expectation of God directing their paths. iv. Acknowledging God is conceding that His word reigns supreme over every aspect of our lives. a. In order to do so, we must admit that "the ways of the LORD are right" (Hos 14:9), and ours are wrong. b. As scripture declares: (i) "The statutes of the LORD are right" (Psa 19:8). (ii) "Thy judgments are right" (Psa 119:75). (iii) The Lord is "a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he" (Deu 32:4). v. After admitting that God and His law are true and right, we must acknowledge that we have sinned against the LORD and have gone our own way (Isa 53:6; Jer 3:13; Jer 14:20; Psa 32:5; Psa 51:3). vi. Until we do that, God will not direct our paths, but rather hide His face from us (Hos 5:15). B. ...and he shall direct thy paths. i. The LORD will guide the steps of the righteous man who acknowledges his need of Him. ii. God promises to instruct, teach, and guide us (Psa 32:8) and order our steps (Psa 37:23). iii. Too often, Christians plan the course of their lives without any consideration of the LORD's will, boldly declaring what they are going to do (Jam 4:13). a. But they don't know what tomorrow holds (Jam 4:14). b. They ought to instead preface their plans with "if the Lord wills" (Jam 4:15). iv. When we acknowledge God in all our ways, He shall direct our paths (Pro 16:9). v. The Lord directs the paths of the righteous in the same way that the banks of a river direct the path of the water flowing between them. a. The riverbanks allow the water to flow freely within them, but prevent it from overflowing them. b. So God sets bounds and limits on the decisions and actions of His children, preventing them from taking a course that His will does not permit (Pro 21:1). 7. Pro 3:7 - "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." A. Be not wise in thine own eyes. i. Fools, not sages, think themselves wise. ii. A truly wise man is little in his own sight, whereas the fool is "wise in his own conceit" (Pro 26:12). iii. Being wise in one's own eyes is a form of pride. iv. Pride n. - B. The quality of being proud. I. 1. a. A high or overweening opinion of one's own qualities, attainments, or estate, which gives rise to a feeling and attitude of superiority over and contempt for others; inordinate self-esteem. v. A proud man will never become wise because he thinks he already is. vi. Those who are wise in their own eyes demonstrate such by the following: a. Not seeking counsel or asking advice of their elders. b. Doing far more talking than listening in conversations. c. Always ending their sentences with periods rather than question marks. vii. Three men come to mind who are often wise in their own eyes: the young man, the formally educated man, and the rich man. a. The young man. (i) The young man is idealistic, thinking the world should work in accordance with his conceptions of reality. (ii) He is confident because of his vigorous youth and his lack of understanding of the hard realities of life. (iii) Therefore, he sees no need to seek counsel from those older and more experienced than he. b. The formally educated man. (i) The formally educated man has letters behind his name that assure him that he is wiser than those who don't. (ii) He paid (borrowed) a small fortune for those letters and spent many years of his life obtaining them. (iii) Therefore, he certainly doesn't need to bother asking for advice from those whom he deems less intelligent than himself. c. The rich man. (i) The rich man equates wealth with wisdom and assumes that anyone that has not the former lacks the latter. (ii) He could not be more wrong according to the scriptures which declare that "the rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out." (Pro 28:11). viii. The man who "think[s] himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself" (Gal 6:3). a. Being wise in one's own eyes is meaningless if one is not wise in God's sight (2Co 10:18). b. "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain" (1Co 3:20). c. He pronounces a "woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight" (Isa 5:21). ix. Christians are exhorted to "mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits" (Rom 12:16). a. David, who was no simpleton, left Solomon a good example of a wise, rich, and powerful man who was humble enough to write: "LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me" (Psa 131:1). b. As the old saying goes, "better to keep silent and have men think you a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." c. It is a mark of wisdom to recognize when one is engaged in a discussion of a topic that is too high for him and to thus bow out humbly rather than pressing on proudly. B. Fear the LORD, and depart from evil. i. God's antidote to being highminded is to fear Him and depart from evil, which includes the evil of pride that God hates (Pro 16:5). ii. Departing from evil is only possible when a man fears God and His judgment of it. iii. Pro 8:13 tells us that "the fear of the LORD is to hate evil," and the first two evils listed are "pride, and arrogancy" which brings us back to being not wise in our own eyes. iv. When a man fears the LORD, he does so in part because of the awe-inspiring, infinite knowledge and wisdom of God (Psa 139:1-6; Psa 147:5; Rom 11:33-34). v. Recognizing the limitlessness of the wisdom of God will quickly reveal the utter paltriness of his own, causing him to "be not wise in [his] own eyes."