As the reader is admonished to “keep my commandments…,” verse 3 begins with “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you.” As this chapter heavily emphasizes trusting in the Lord, this would seem to refer to the steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord Himself, as declared to Moses in Exodus 34:6, as He affirmed His covenantal relationship at Sinai. Verses 5-7 contain the best timeless advice perhaps of the whole chapter – trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, and be not wise in your own eyes. The folly of man in ignoring these three things (while believing that our own knowledge and our own understanding of the world is not flawed) has no doubt cost many their very souls – and will likely continue to do so. The word of God, however, is unchanging and perfect.
But then, come verses 11-12. These should not be taken to mean that God causes afflictions and trials to come upon us (as we will see in Job), but simply mean that He does allow those things to happen; and that in no way detracts from the fact that He loves us, as a father loves his children. Building character and discipline through these trials gives us strength, integrity, and produces steadfastness in us as well (James 1:2-4).
Part of the rest of this chapter’s message of wisdom is in how we treat others, and how righteous living has an effect on them and, ultimately, on our own well-being. And these points are all tied back to verse 4, which says that by living in such a manner, we “will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.”
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.