That second sentence ruffles my feathers.
We have no control over our future? Are we just God’s puppets? Why bother with goals and dreams?
Yup. That’s my gut reaction. What’s your first response to this verse?
Since this idea doesn’t align with what I believe about God, I looked into the original language and a few commentaries. I concluded that the word ‘purpose’ is misleading and we must consider the two verses together.
Although most translations use the word purpose, the original Hebrew means advice, counsel and purpose. Verses 20 and 21 together encourage us to eagerly absorb God’s instruction so our independent decisions will wisely align with His good, fruitful, and fulfilling way of life.
No matter our politics, our laws or our church doctrine, God’s truth cannot be changed. We can stray far from His advice, but the underlying wisdom in it remains.
In addition, we do make plans – plans about how to spend our time, plans to make a name for ourselves and lots of money, plans for our families, plans to eliminate homelessness or hunger, plans for a comfortable, secure retirement. Some of our plans, but not all, align with God’s teaching.
In the end, the one who follows God’s counsel will succeed. (tweet this)
I find this is very encouraging.
I’m reading, learning and sharing alongside you while claiming no expertise. Do you see a different message in these verses?
#SeedsOfScripture #proverbs #wisdom