A life lived by the fear of the Lord will be Focused on God, Not on Self. That kind of wisdom is characterized by entire, exclusive, and exhaustive commitment (vv. 5-6). To enjoy the Lord’s direction (v. 6) you must trust and obey the Lord’s directions (v. 5). “Trust” involves the complete and whole reliance, commitment, and confidence of your entire self (“with all your heart”). You must be entirely focused and relying on the Lord, not riches (11:18), powerful people (Ps 146:3), worldly power structures (Jer 5:17), or your own cleverness and ingenuity (Prov 3:5). This trust must also be exclusive, not supporting yourself by your own knowledge and understanding (“lean not…” v. 5b). Your knowledge is but a thimble compared to God’s infinite ocean of knowledge. Your understanding is governed by irrational urges you cannot control. Last, this trust must be exhaustive, “in all your ways.” The root idea of “acknowledge” is knowing God. Knowing God means always obeying and always depending on God. In every aspect of and situation in life you always obey and depend on God. When you live by true faith you’ll never go out of bounds or astray (“direct your paths,” v. 6b). Don’t live by the worm’s eye view of life, live by the bird’s eye!
- Do you know what’s going to happen later today or tomorrow? Does God? Why should that affect how you live now?
- How must you trust the Lord and not your own understanding (vv. 1, 3)?
- Note how verse 6 follows the same theme/idea of verses 2 and 4. What is first required to enjoy these benefits? What will happen if you don’t do what is required (apply the opposite of vv. 2, 4, 6)?
- When do you often seek the Lord, during difficult or easy circumstances? Is that wise? Is that living by the fear of the Lord?
- If you traveled to a country whose language, customs, and geography you didn’t know, what would you do?