The Berean Expositor
Volume 7 - Page 34 of 133
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pp. 159-160
"The Last Word."
"A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps."
"The lot is cast into the lap; but its every decision is of the Lord."
While many of the Lord's children are blessedly and fully blessed in Christ, they do
not always enjoy those blessings as they might. One of the causes that is at the root of
much disappointment is the failure to realize the Lord's purpose, and consequently failure
to arrange one's life in conformity with it. Failure to understand the gracious purpose of
God leads to making plans and schemes that can never be fulfilled. How blessed it is,
however, having seen the purpose of the Lord, to so direct one's plan in life that those
plans may be graciously blessed and established.
With the object of bringing such a thought before our readers, we draw attention to
Proverbs 16: 1-9:--
Structure of Proverbs 16: 1-9.
A | a | -1. The plans of man.
b | -1. The final decree of the Lord.
B | c | 2-. The ways of man.
d | -2. The spirit weighed by the Lord.
C | e | 3-. Roll works unto the Lord.
f | -3. Thy plans shall be established.
C | e | 4-. All things made for that final decree.
f  | -4. Even the lawless one.
B |
d | 5. The wicked punished by the Lord.
c | 6-8. The ways that please.
A | a | 9-. Man's heart deviseth.
b | -9. The Lord directeth.
A little revision is necessary to enable the reader to obtain the true message. Verse 1,
"preparations" = plans; "answer" = the final decree, or, as The Companion Bible says
it may be rendered , "the last word". Verse 3, "commit" = roll;  "thoughts" = plans.
Verse 4, "for himself" = same word and meaning as "answer" of verse 1.
The meaning of the passage is better expressed therefore as follows:--
"To man (pertain) the plans of his heart, but from the Lord comes the last word."
Verse 2 warns that conscience of itself is no safe guide in the making of our plans,
verse 3 and 4 continue:--
"Roll thy works unto the Lord, and thy plans shall be established." The Lord hath
made all things with regard to His last word, yea even a lawless one for the day of evil."