Summary: Trust in the Lord. Inward trust and faith, outward obedience. If we truly put our trust in the Lord, giving up relying on our own intellect, than our outward appearance should reflect this faith and trust.
In Proverbs chapter 3, verses 1-10, Solomon teaches us about wisdom.
My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the first fruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Rooted in sound teaching (1-4)
Rests in trust in God (5,6)
Rewards those who obey (7-10)
Along with trusting comes obedience. There must be action behind our trust. Think about it, when we trust anything we put faith in whatever that may be. And as we have said before, ultimately we can only trust God because anything else where we put our trust, can easily fail us. But trust without faith or obedience, is no trust at all. They go hand in hand. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
A College Physics Professor was demonstrating the scientific qualities of a pendulum. The Professor had just finished his lecture, wherein he had shown the mathematical proof that an untouched pendulum will always swing in ever-decreasing arcs.
He then asked for a volunteer to demonstrate this fact by standing against a wall with a pendulum bob against his chin, then releasing the bob, and allowing the pendulum to swing naturally through its arc. The Professor reminded the class that the bob would return almost to, but not quite touching the chin. No one volunteered. Although the science students “believed” that the law of physics was true, they were unwilling to put it to the test.
How like many of us in our relationship with God. We know the facts, believe them, but are unwilling to risk a step of faith based on them. Trust without obedience is no trust at all.
Verse 1 and 2: “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands in your heart; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.” How does that sound, long life and peace?
The heart in verse one commonly refers to the mind as the center of thinking and reason, but also includes the emotions, the will, and thus the whole inner being. Think of the heart as the depository of all wisdom and the source of whatever effects speech, sight and conduct.
Solomon is suggesting that we do not forget God’s law, the commandments given to Moses, but I believe there is forward thought here as well. “Let your heart keep my commands” reminds me of the greatest commandment. The kids in Vacation Bible School a few years back learned the “Shema” (Hebrew for hear.) Found way back in the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy, penned by Moses 1400 years before Christ, chapter 6, verses 4-6, he writes; “Hear, O Israel. The Lord Our God, the Lord is One.” The word “one” here is meant to speak the truth about monotheism (only one God alone) but it does not refer to singleness, but unity. It is the same word found in Genesis where the husband and wife were said to be “one flesh.” Do you see reference to one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the trinity? “You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.” He goes on to stress how important it is to teach this to our children and future generations.
Solomon says to let our hearts keep God’s commands. Now then zoom ahead 900 years or so after he wrote these words, and we find Jesus teaching, after His triumphal entry into the Jerusalem during the Holy week and just prior to His betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection. The account is found both in the Gospel of Matthew and Mark. Jesus was tired of the religious leaders of the time, protecting their own self interests, hiding behind laws that no one could keep. The elite Priestly Sadducees, and their rivals, the Pharisees were too concerned with externals and ceremonies and the way things appeared, and not concerned enough with matters of the heart. Jesus rebuked them for their hypocrisy again and again. In Matthew chapter 23, verse 25, Jesus says; “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.