Thu July 4 – God’s Will For Us Is To Succeed

Proverbs 16:3-4 (CEB)

Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will succeed.
The Lord made everything for a purpose,
    even the wicked for an evil day. 


My study bible describes chapter 16 through chapter 22, verse 16, as sometimes labeled “the royal collection.” It emphasizes people’s roles within social structures.

Proverbs assumes some connection between people’s character or behavior and the outcomes they experience. Proverbs are educational in purpose, intended to train people to become positive members of society. The writings use consequences to encourage the listener/reader to develop proper character and behavior. What is consistent throughout the book is not wickedness or righteousness, folly or wisdom, but the evaluation of those consequences.   

Verse 2 of chapter 16 saysAll the ways of people are pure in their eyes, but the Lord assesses the motives.”

Verse 3 asks us to commit our work and activities to God. The result of this is that we then become an instrument or example of God’s will for all people.

Verse 4, “The Lord made everything for a purpose” seems pretty easy to take in. Even today, seeing in writing that God uses wickedness is something that takes me aback for a moment. Then I remember that God is is all powerful and created all things. Every single thing that exists comes from God. God does exercise power throughout the old testament to do what is necessary in his creation. Why? Because “the earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord” (Ps 24:1).

Here are two illustrations that may help us to appreciate God’s infinite wisdom and power in our lives.

Suppose you went into a person’s home, for the first time, and told them you didn’t like the furniture, how it was arranged, or how the windows were decorated. Wouldn’t your response, even if you didn’t say it aloud, be something like “This is my house, you didn’t pay for my belongings, so your viewpoint is not appropriate.”

This might be an even more fitting illustration. When we start creating planets and giving life, perhaps then we can start dictating how God ought to run the universe. But unless we get that divine power, we cannot exercise divine power and control. It always belongs to God, and he does what is right in his infinite wisdom. This teaching does not just appear as a fleeting thought in the Bible. It is a recurring doctrine (see, e.g., Job 42:2Ps 115:3Eph 1:11). Not even evil and unrighteousness can escape the all-controlling hand of the God who has even made wicked people for his own purposes.     

by Clarence Beverage

For Pondering and Prayer

I truly cherish hearing that God’s great love for us is shown by Jesus giving his own life so that we may be saved by faith in that love and gift. But, when the words I am reading describe a greater power and wisdom wanting to raise me up and make me better so that I can make the world better, that takes effort and isn’t as easy.    

How have your recent actions and attitudes reflected God’s sovereignty over your life?

Are there areas of your life where you are attempting to operate by your own rules?

Would you like to find a better way?

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me, and each of us, to see God’s wisdom and plans for us to be blessings. Help us to realize that some blessings are for eternity, and some can be extraordinary things that continually happen when we strive to walk in your Word. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

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