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Proverbs 16:3—“Commit to the LORD Whatever You Do”

Proverbs 16:3—“Commit to the LORD Whatever You Do”

 “Commit to Jehovah whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”—Proverbs 16:3, New World Translation.

 “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”—Proverbs 16:3, New International Version.

Meaning of Proverbs 16:3

 This proverb assures those who worship the true God that their plans will be successful if they place their trust in him by seeking and following his guidance.

 “Commit to Jehovah whatever you do.” Before making decisions, worshippers of Jehovah a humbly look to him for guidance. (James 1:5) Why? For one thing, humans often have little or no control over events that affect their life. (Ecclesiastes 9:11; James 4:13-15) In addition, they may lack the wisdom to carry out their plans. For these reasons, many wisely commit, or entrust, their affairs to God. They do so by praying to him for guidance and by acting in harmony with his will as revealed in his written Word, the Bible.—Proverbs 3:5, 6; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

 The statement “commit to the LORD b whatever you do” literally means “roll your works on the LORD.” According to one reference work, this expression depicts “a man [who] transfers a burden from his own back to one stronger and better able to bear it.” Those who humbly rely on God can be sure that he will help and sustain them.—Psalm 37:5; 55:22.

 The expression “whatever you do” does not mean that God will approve of or bless every plan that people may have. To merit Jehovah’s blessing, their plans must harmonize with both his standards and his will. (Psalm 127:1; 1 John 5:14) God does not bless disobedience. In fact, “he thwarts the plans of the wicked.” (Psalm 146:9) At the same time, he supports those who show their submission to him by respecting the standards he has set down in the Bible.—Psalm 37:23.

 “And your plans will succeed.” Some translations render this expression as “your plans will be established.” In the Hebrew Scriptures, or what is commonly called the Old Testament, the word translated into English as “established” conveys the idea of laying a foundation, and it often refers to the stability of God’s creative works. (Proverbs 3:19; Jeremiah 10:12) God will likewise firmly establish the plans of those who do what is right in his eyes, helping them to lead a more secure, stable, and happy life.—Psalm 20:4; Proverbs 12:3.

Context of Proverbs 16:3

 This proverb was written by King Solomon, who composed most of the book of Proverbs. He was able to speak thousands of proverbs because of his God-given wisdom.—1 Kings 4:29, 32; 10:23, 24.

 In chapter 16, Solomon begins by extolling God’s wisdom and showing His contempt for inordinate pride. (Proverbs 16:1-5) The chapter then leads the reader to an important conclusion that is a recurring theme in the book of Proverbs: Humans can be truly wise and successful only if they are humble, allowing God to direct their steps. (Proverbs 16:3, 6-8, 18-23) This basic truth is often repeated in the Bible.—Psalm 1:1-3; Isaiah 26:3; Jeremiah 17:7, 8; 1 John 3:22.

 Watch this short video to see an overview of the book of Proverbs.

a Jehovah is the personal name of God. (Psalm 83:18) See the article “Who Is Jehovah?

b The introduction to the New International Version Study Bible states that the NIV uses “the LORD” (with “LORD” in all capitals) in place of the divine name. To see why this common practice can be confusing to Bible readers, see the article in this series “Isaiah 42:8—‘I Am the LORD.’