The first pillar of wisdom
For reading & meditation: Proverbs 3:1-18
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding ‘” (v.5)
We turn now to consider the first of the seven pillars on which I believe that wisdom is built – trust. The theme of trust is everywhere in Proverbs; it punctuates almost every passage. The word “trust” itself occurs quite often, the frequency varying according to the translation you read (in the King James Version, for example, “trust” appears ten times) and its synonyms, such as “lean,” “acknowledge,” “depend,” are found scattered through the book. According to Rabbi Bar Kappa, the verse before us today is the pivot around which all the essential principles of Judaism revolve. He claims that these words summarize the teaching of the whole Old Testament and give a clear focus to the fact that the wise are those who trust God and follow His directions for living. But what exactly is “trust”? How important is it to daily living? Why do the word and its synonyms occur so many times, not only in Proverbs but in other parts of Scripture as well? The dictionary defines trust as “a firm belief in the reliability, honesty, veracity, justice and strength of a person or thing.” Basically “trust” is confidence that what we believe about a person or thing is true. We tend to think of trust as a spiritual quality, but actually it is an essential posture of life for everyone. It would be very difficult to get through a single day without the exercise of trust. All government, all economics, all institutions, all marriages, all relationships between people, are fundamentally governed by trust. We cannot relate well to God or others unless the capacity to trust is present within us.