Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

4 January 2020

Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

Literally, the term for “commit” is “roll.” We are to roll to the Lord what we do. The idea is similar to the expression “put in the hands of the Lord.” We are to commit to the Lord what we do, placing in his hands the outcome of our actions, trusting him to preserve us, cause good to come forth, and he be glorified. It is to leave to God the results, trusting in his sovereign will.

To commit our ways requires that we have already committed ourselves to God. It may be helpful here to make a distinction. We tend to mean by commit that we act out of our own power to do something for God. To commit ourselves to God in the biblical sense is to give up trying to do for God and to turn to him to act for us. Think of it in terms of commending. To commend ourselves to God is to recognize that even when we make commitments, we are doing so under the power of God to make and keep us committed.

This trust in God to act for us is not a blind trust. The Jews founded their trust on Gods deliverance from Egypt, preserving them in the wilderness, and leading them into the Promised Land. We establish our trust on Christ’s deliverance wrought on the cross. He has delivered us, has preserved our souls, and has led us into his kingdom. Therefore, we trust him to continue to deliver, preserve, and ultimately glorify us.

If we commend/commit to the Lord whatever we do, if we show peaceful trust, then plans have a way of falling into place. Doors have a way of opening up and the wrong doors closing. If our motivations are right, the plans take the right form and achieve the right results. I think that is the primary point of the proverb. One who has commended himself and his ways to the Lord generally finds that his plans succeed, because those plans themselves are in line with Gods will.

But understand that the very act of commending ones ways to the Lord implies that we accept the times when our plans do not succeed. Indeed, it means that we are trusting God to alter our plans as necessary and even to bring needed chastisement. Commending our ways to the Lord means that we are trusting God rather than ourselves to know our hearts fully, to know our motivations and for him to act accordingly. To commit our ways to the Lord is to keep in mind that we and our ways belong to him and are to serve for his purposes and glory.

 

Mark 5

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.[a] When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[b] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

 

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing[c] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.