The Berean Expositor
Volume 34 - Page 216 of 261
Index | Zoom
known, One that is recognized, and the exhortation is to perceive and recognize, know
and admit, the hand of the Lord in all our ways. Instead of following the inclination of
our own hearts and leaning to our own understanding in order to discover for ourselves a
plain path for our feet, those who trust in the Lord with all their heart find that the
Lord Himself goes before them, leveling their path and marking it off from all that would
side-track them.
Two aspects of this directing of our path are put before us, and both are profitable.
First, the word translated "direct". In the original the word means "straight" and readers
will remember "The book of Jasher" (Josh. 10: 13) which uses the word Jasher, "Straight",
or "Upright", as a proper noun. When the word is used of a "Way" it is referred to as a
way in which the people "shall not stumble" (Jer. 31: 9), which suggests evenness and
the absence of obstacles. So, in Isa. 40:, the command, "Make straight in the desert a
highway for our God", is followed by a description of the result of such a work in which
it is stated that every valley is to be exalted, and every mountain and hill is to be made
low; crooked places shall be made straight and rough places plain (Isa. 40: 3, 4). Again,
speaking of Cyrus, Isa. 45: 2 says, "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places
straight", which is repeated in verse 13, in slightly different form, but, in the original,
using the same word, "I will direct all his ways".
While the passage before us (Prov. 3: 5, 6) turns our thoughts away from self, and
wholly to the Lord, it must not be supposed that the leading of the Lord is purely
mechanical, and that there is no intelligent participation on our part. The same book of
Proverbs tells us that "The integrity of the upright shall guide them" (Prov. 11: 3), that is,
that the Lord who leads them does so in harmony with the believer's true desires after
righteousness of those who are justified by faith, with the leading of the Lord. Yet
further, while we are forbidden to lean to our own understanding, and encouraged to trust
in the Lord with all our heart, that does not mean the blotting out of intelligent following,
for Prov. 15: 19 and 21 says:
"The way of the righteous is made plain" and
"A man of understanding walketh uprightly",
where the word translated "uprightly" is the same that is used in Prov. 3: 6, "He shall
Secondly, the fact that the Septuagint translates the word yashar, "direct", by
orthotomeo, "rightly divide", as in II Tim. 2: 15, suggests that where we most need
guidance is at the fork in the road. Which way shall we turn? Shall we take the right
hand, or shall we turn to the left? Here, if anywhere, Prov. 3: 5, 6 most fully applies.
Sometimes we can answer our own prayer for guidance by asking ourselves, as we
ponder the path of our feet, "Can I acknowledge the Lord if I take this particular turning
on life's journey?" If there is any doubt in the matter, it is morally certain that however
much we may "feel led" we shall not be justified in taking the step. "Straight" paths are
paths that are under the direction of a "righteous" God, and are followed by "straight"
people, who, though sinners by nature, and saved without works, recognize the fact that
he who is righteous should do righteousness (I John 2: 29; 3: 7, 10), or, as the