Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
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.” I wonder if the term “commend” might not be better. We are to commend 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 commend our ways requires that we have already commended ourselves to God. It may be helpful here to distinguish between committing ourselves and commending ourselves. We tend to mean by commit that we act out of our own power to do something for God. To commend ourselves to God is to give up trying to do for God and to turn to him to act for us. To commend ourselves 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 God’s 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 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 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 God’s will.
But understand that the very act of commending one’s 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 commend 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.