I came across two verses in Proverbs that aren’t quite one after the other but they certainly seemed to go together. Like most verses, each is a couplet consisting of two phrases. It seemed to me that these proverbs could be companions with the first and last phrases acting like the outer shell of a nut and the second and third phrases like the tender meat inside.
Proverbs 19:21, 23
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
The fear of the Lord leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
Things to think about:
· The Shell
o “Many are the plans in a person’s heart” and “then one rests content, untouched by trouble”
o These two phrases are our lives, our dreams, and our circumstances
§ We have a life to be lived, dreams to be chased, and a calling to be fulfilled.
· The Meat
o “But it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” and “The fear of the Lord leads to life”
o Inside the shell is where the core truths live – God is in control and His way leads to life
· What plans and dreams do you have?
o If you have trouble answering this, ask God to show you
§ James 1:5 - If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
· God-given plans and dreams are good!
Psalm 37:4-6 - Take delight in the Lord, and he will
give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in
him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
· How does resting in God’s prevailing will give you confidence and peace to step out in faith?
o Conversely, how does trying to do it yourself led to trouble and discontent?
· Just like a savory nut is delicious, “taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8