1. This proverb is connected in thought to the previous proverb.
2. Both of them speak about TRUST.
3. Both of them also speak of the results of that trust—whether in the Lord or in self.
4. There is a difference however in the contrasts in each proverb.
a. Vs. 25 – the opposite of trusting in the Lord is being proud.
b. Vs. 26 – the opposite of trusting in self is walking wisely.
A. Trusting in Self
1. This stands in contrast to the one who puts his trust in the Lord in vs. 25.
2. Of course, our trust OUGHT to be in the Lord always, but that is not always the case. Sometimes we put our trust in other things.
a. Ps. 31:6 – Some trust in “lying vanities” (idols). “I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.”
b. Ps. 118:8 – Some trust in man. “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
c. Prov. 3:5 – Some trust in their own understanding. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
d. II Cor. 5:6b – Some trust in what they can see. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (Trust in sight vs. faith – trust in God.)
e. Jer. 9:23 – Some trust in their own wisdom, might, and riches when they should trust in the LORD. “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches.”
B. Trusting in Self is Folly
1. FOOL defined:
a. Dull; thickheaded.
2. This proverb teaches us the nature of a fool: he trusts in his own heart… in his self… in his wisdom… in his own merit.
a. Ps. 14:1 – The fool also says that there is no god. That’s why he trusts in his own heart. What else is there?
b. The nature of the fool to reject God and to be self-reliant—a trait that the world adores.
c. What folly it is to take no counsel (even from God’s Word) but to rely on self… our own wisdom and intelligence!
d. Many times in Proverbs the fool has been described as one who refuses to listen to counsel because he thinks he doesn’t need it. He is wise enough on his own. He trusts in his own wisdom.
3. Jer. 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
a. As believers, we believe God’s Word. We believe what it says about our own hearts.
b. And God’s Word says that our hearts are deceitful. The fallen heart leads us to believe things that are not true—that do not square with God’s truth.
c. And God’s Word tells us that our hearts are bent towards evil.
d. Why in the world would anyone trust in his own heart IF he believed that his heart would deceive him? What folly!
e. Would you invest your hard earned money in an investment firm that you knew lied to its clients and regularly deceived them? No one in their right mind would want to put their money in such an investment.
f. So why would anyone trust in his own heart? It IS deceptive—and evil to boot!
g. Bishop Hall called the heart “The Great Imposter” because it has been practicing a system of deceit on us since the first moment of consciousness!
h. It is not the way of wisdom to trust in that kind of a heart. That is the way of folly. And ultimately, the way of ruin.
4. Matt. 15:19 – “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
a. What folly to trust in that kind of a heart! It is a cesspool of sin.
b. God’s estimate of our own hearts ought to cause us all to cast ourselves at His feet for mercy, guidance, and wisdom.
c. If this is what our heart is like (and it is) then self-confidence (trusting in our own heart) ought never to enter our mind.
d. We should fear committing every one of these sins that lie in our bosom and rest continually and solely on God and His wisdom, guidance, and power for victory.
5. Jer. 17:5 – “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man… Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord.”
a. Trusting in self or another man is folly because it brings a curse.
b. It brings the curse of failure… defeat… misery… slavery… and all of the other consequences of the sins into which we fall.
c. Sin has its own built in curse – its own built in set of consequences.
d. But on the contrary, there is a great blessing to the man who trusts in the Lord.
6. Deut. 8:17-20 – “And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.”
a. Vs. 19 – “I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.”
b. When the Israelites entered into the land, they were reminded NOT to trust in themselves but in God – the One who gave them the land and liberty to enter.
c. There was a clear warning: IF you begin to trust in yourselves, you will perish.
7. I Cor. 1:19 – “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
a. What folly to trust in our own WISDOM – because God’s Word has promised us that He will destroy the so called wisdom of the wise.
b. Prov. 14:12 – “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
c. It is folly to trust in our own wisdom, because our choices may SEEM right—but may in fact be the way of destruction, ruin, and even death!
d. Why not trust in God and in His Word. We know for sure that His ways are perfect… His Word… His wisdom… His counsel are all true and right—always!
A. Walking Wisely
1. Walking wisely is seen in this proverb as the opposite of trusting in self.
2. He is wise because he consciously chose not to trust in himself and to place his trust in the Lord. That is wisdom.
a. The wise man knows better than to trust in himself.
b. He has failed many times by trusting in himself, and now knows from experience that his faith is to rest in the Lord and in Him alone.
c. He has learned from experience that his own personal wisdom is extremely limited and his own strength is feeble at best.
d. He realizes that he needs to look beyond SELF for the wisdom and strength for daily living. He looks to the Lord in faith.
3. The way of wisdom is the way of faith – trusting in the Lord. (Prov. 3:5-6)
4. Eph. 5:15 – “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.”
a. We need to walk “as wise” men because the pathway down here on earth is strewn with traps, snares, pitfalls, stumblingblocks, and the road is infested with enemies.
b. If we know and believe this, then it behooves us to walk circumspectly and wisely… TRUSTING in God for each and every stop along the way.
c. Self-confidence on such a pathway is folly to the nth degree.
d. We should thank God for doors that He in His providence and wisdom closes along the way… even if they are doors our hearts longed to enter. Lean not on thine own understanding.
e. Wisdom naturally distrusts our own hearts… distrusts our own feelings… and distrusts our own inclinations—and therefore puts every thought, word, deed, and feeling under the scrutiny of God’s Word before taking one step.
f. The better we understand the depth of the depravity of our own hearts, the more likely we are to refuse to trust in SELF and therefore put our trust in God.
g. Prov. 3:5 – The way of wisdom is to TRUST in the Lord: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
1. Delivered defined: Escape; slip away.
a. Two interesting usages of the term:
→ Job 19:20 – “My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.”
→ Ps. 124:7 – “Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.”
2. Prov. 29:25 – He shall be safe—rescued—delivered—saved from many calamities that are to be directly traced to the fact that he is walking wisely—by faith which rests on God.
3. The wise man who trusts in the Lord and who trusts in the strength and power of God is delivered because the arm of flesh will fail us.
a. Self and its fleshly nature are not reliable. They will not bring about deliverance from sin. (Read Romans 7!)
b. He is delivered because he does NOT trust in self.
c. He seeks wisdom and guidance from above and in God’s Word he FINDS the wisdom that he needs.