What does Proverbs 16:3 mean?
ESV: Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
NIV: Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
NASB: Commit your works to the Lord, And your plans will be established.
CSB: Commit your activities to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
NLT: Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
KJV: Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
NKJV: Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.
Verse Commentary:
The best chance for success comes when plans are aligned with truth. That means those who submit to God's will and seek Him are in a better position than those who ignore or reject Him. Following God is never a guarantee of earthly success (John 16:33). However, acting in accordance with truth and goodness removes many dangers from life (Proverbs 1:7; 13:20–22). When someone's efforts are fully entrusted to God's will and His control—when they are "committed" to Him—those labors are less likely to cause their own downfall.

Psalm 37:5 affirms this truth by stating: "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." Abraham charged his servant with the formidable task of finding a bride for his son Isaac, and his servant was successful in the commission of the assignment. He did not depend upon his own intelligence or preference. He asked the Lord to guide him to the right person (Genesis 24:42–44). When he found Rebekah, the right person, he offered thanks to the Lord for guidance (Genesis 24:48). When he asked her parents for permission to take her to Isaac, he said, "Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way" (Genesis 24:56).

When a believer sincerely depends upon the Lord for the understanding to do His will, he is not disappointed. Proverbs 3:5–6 counsels: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Verse Context:
Proverbs 16:1–9 reflects on the heart's intention to make plans and the Lord's rule over that planning. Committing one's ways to God, with reverence, is the wise way to make plans. The Lord has a purpose for everything He created (1 Timothy 4:4). This continues the main section of the book of Proverbs: a compilation of short, general-case statements of wisdom.
Chapter Summary:
This part of Solomon's proverbs emphasizes human motives, self-control, and common sense. Many of these proverbs are arranged in a two-part style. The first and second half of these statements make the same basic point, but from opposite perspectives. Notable verses are verses 9 and 33, speaking of God's sovereignty, and verse 18, a famous warning about arrogance. Also often cited is verse 25, which repeats Proverbs 14:12 and encourages self-reflection.
Chapter Context:
A lengthy list of Solomon's wise sayings began in chapter 10. Chapter 16 begins a section mostly composed of comparisons and completions. It extends to Proverbs 22:16. Man's thoughts, speech, motives, and conduct are examined in this chapter. The chapter also addresses pride, evil, and injustice.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
Accessed 5/29/2024 2:22:59 PM
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