Drinking Deeply

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 at 2:29 PM

Rethinking Memory Verses: Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
I was reading through proverbs 3 today and just realized the context to some of my favorite verses. The trap of these verses is to take a fatalistic view of things. "Oh, God is going to take care of it anyways, he'll make straight my paths, as long as I pray about it." Not to say that everyone does this, but it was a tendency that I saw in myself.

Here's the context:
1My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.

3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4So you will find favor and good success[a]
in the sight of God and man.

5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your flesh[b]
and refreshment[c] to your bones.

If I were paraphrase it, I would say the crux of the text was this:
Son, obey the Lord, fear His commandments, seek Him first in all that you do. They will bless you tremendously. Don't think that you can do it on your own, or that you have a better way to do things. Do things God's way and you will find true success.
The emphasis is over and over upon obedience. Acknowledging the Lord isn't just praying about different decisions and saying, "well, God is going to take care of it," but it's seeking to live out one's live in obedience to the commandments that have been laid down by the Lord. It is when we do this that the Lord will make straight our paths, will bring long life, healing, and refreshment to our bones. It's not the prayer that acknowledges God, it's the life lived out in obedience to Him that acknowledges Him.

Yet another reminder of how important it is to now just memorize isolated verses, but entire passages. Gotta get cracking Mickey =p

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