Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 3:26
"For the Lord will be your confidence and
will keep your foot from being caught"
I am amazed at how often non-believers want to see everything good that happens to them or others as a coincidence or directly related to what they have done. There is so little understanding of God's providence that we don't even look for it anymore. There was a time in this country when we understood that God is in charge and if He wants to block you, then you will be blocked. If He wants you to make progress in a certain direction, then against all odds, progress in that direction is possible. This does not mean that just because an action is allowed it is therefore good. God allows us to make foolish and even wicked choices.
This proverb says that God plays favorites for those who follow His laws, His precepts, and His direction. Those who ignore what He has said and what He is saying bear the consequences for their pride.
This is the Hebrew word kesel which means – surprisingly enough – foolishness, stupidity, or confidence. The idea here is that sometimes when you do what wisdom dictates, it has very little support from the people around you. Why would you want to sacrifice your own accomplishments to help others win? It just doesn't make sense to people. Why would you refuse to do something that would be pleasurable and legal just because it would not honor God as much as another option? This is beyond comprehension to some. But this is what wisdom does. Wisdom looks to the long-distant future and looks for that choice that allows God to receive great glory, others to win, and you to win. This choice will not make sense to some and, therefore, you will look like a fool. In those cases Solomon is saying that the Lord will be your foolishness. You will appear to be foolish because you actually believed in what He said to do.
I was reading recently an account of the landing of the Puritans in America at Plymouth. The book was written from the point of view that the Puritans were all bad and the Indians were the oppressed victims of the story. Even in this type of biased history the providence of God could not be buried. There were any number of unexplainable events that should not have happened the way they happened. There were miracles supporting the Puritans.
God says, through the mouth of his servant Solomon in this case, that He will strongly support those who strive to conduct themselves with righteous wisdom. Even if they are fooled into a trap, He will fight for them so that they will not get caught. He will gladly be their foolishness when they put His honor ahead of their own prosperity, comfort, and pleasure.
Realize that the Lord will not be the confidence or defender of those who just say that they are believers or Christians or religious but who demonstrate no wisdom. If a person embraces selfishness, rebellion, pride, mocking, and/or impulsiveness, they will reap what they sow – no matter how much they say they believe in God. Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap, Galatians 6:7 tells us.
It is a great thing to watch the Lord go to bat for you. It is a great thing to watch Him discipline you with a loving hand. It is a great thing to have Him calm your heart with contentment while others are running after the trinkets of the world which in a few years they will have to surrender.
Yes, there will be times when you must be the Lord's fool. The things that He asks you to do will not make sense to average folks. And you will have a choice. Will I emphasize relationships with my talent, time, and treasures or will I emphasize selfishness? There will be times when He will demand that you not do things that everyone else is doing. It will be worth it. Yes, you may have to surrender a little of your cool factor, but you gain so much more.