What does it mean to lean not on your own understanding?


Proverbs 3:5 - 6

ESV - 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Proverbs 3:5-6 is a familiar passage to many: 'Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.' Vers...

July 01 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Bruce Lyon Elder: Restoration Fellowship Assembly
What does it mean to lean not on your own understanding?

First let us understand that our own understanding comes from a heart that is deceitful above all things, blind to its own faults, etc.

Jer 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Pr 14:12, Prov 16:25 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death".

As a result of being in the flesh, the natural man acts accordingly.

For a regenerate man the following it true:

Pr 16:9 "A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps".

Job 32:8 "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding".

We need to look outside of self to God, and not lean on our own faulty understanding of things, for God knows the end of a matter from the beginning. 

Job 12:13 "With Him is wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding".

How do we begin to get right understanding?

Pr 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding".

Ps 111:10 "The fear [reverential awe and respect] of Yehovah is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endures for ever".

Ps 119:130 "The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple".

Pr 2:6 "For Yehovah gives wisdom: out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding".

Jesus didn't do anything without the guidance and direction of his God and his Father whose Spirit was in him without measure.

John 5:19 "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise".

John 5:30 "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me".

Jesus did nothing without being in subjection to his Father's will. He carried out to perfection the commission he had been given and when he had done all he cried out "It is finished". What an example for all of us who are in Him!

John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life".

In the flesh and on our own we can not have the right understanding on how to proceed according to the will of our God and our Father. Only as we maintain close communication with Him in prayer, seeking to have more of the direction of His holy spirit and submitting to the spirit guidance, can we achieve real and true understanding in order to or conduct our lives according to His will. May our God and our Father give a all of us more of His spirit to carry out all He has called us to do!

October 24 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
“To LEAN” signifies "to lean upon, rest upon," just as man rests upon a spear for support. Its metaphorical use, to repose confidence in, is derived from the practice of kings who were accustomed to appear in public leaning on their friends and ministers; cf. 2 Kings 5:18; 2 Kings 7:2, 17 (Gesenius, a German lexicographer, Christian Hebraist, Lutheran theologian, and Biblical scholar). 

The Hebrew here is “do not lean.” The verb שָׁעַן (sha’an, “to lean; to rely”) is used in (1) literal physical sense of leaning upon something for support and (2) figurative sense of relying upon someone or something for help or protection (BDB, Brown-Driver-Briggs, a Hebrew lexicon of the Old Testament.) The word lean means “to rely on,” and our faith must be in God’s Word and not in our own wisdom. It’s the same word used of a king who leans on the arm of an officer (2 Kings 5:18; 7:2, 17) or a person who leans on a staff (2 Kings 18:21). Wiersbe

"A thing may be useful which we must not lean upon, lest it should break and let us fall; a reed from an osier-bed is very useful to make baskets--[An osier bed is where historically willows were planted and coppiced to produce withies, which were used for basket making, fish-traps, and other purposes --Coppicing is an ancient technique for harvesting dowel shaped wood from the same tree year after year. Withies are the result when coppicing willow], but you should not lean upon it. So our understandings are very useful, but the best of them are not sufficiently strong to lean upon."

(Chicago Sunday School Teacher.) [The Understanding not Strong Enough to Lean Upon]

And there is a "Danger of Following Our Own Wishes"," sermon by Newman Hall.

June 05 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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