In Proverbs 3:5, we read “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

This Scripture explores three main points –

(1) why our trust ought to be placed solely with God,

(2) how trust can be shown through active obedience, and

(3) why guidance is only found within the Lord’s will. 

According to Proverbs 3:5, it should be clear that trusting unequivocally in God is an essential requirement. The Jewish scholar, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel asserts that trust is something “not bestowed lightly” but must instead be earned over time through consistent acts of faithfulness – “Not what I ought to think of God, but what He has accomplished for me… this is even more decisive than my opinion about Him” (Heschel).

This notion, echoed by Saint Ambrose, states that “The faith of Christians can exercise itself even without miracles; neither do miracles work more powerfully upon others than charity works upon us.”

Here we come to understand that faith demands far more than instruction or intellect; rather it requires a level of reverence mixed with absolute devotion which can only be provided by turning humbly towards Him. As Psalm 9:10 teaches us, “And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou, LORD hast not forsaken them that seek Thee.” 

In the book, The Faith of Reason, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks states, that according to Avot D’Rabbi Natan 31 there are “two types of secular knowledge; knowledge which comes from below i.e. from man’s mind, or that which comes from Above i.e., revealed knowledge or prophetic wisdom given directly from God Himself or through a religious text such as the Bible ..,; ultimately it should be acknowledged that the highest level of truth lies within revealed knowledge over man’s intellectual understanding.”

Therefore, if when we follow Proverbs 3:5,  we should rely primarily on faith in order elevate ourselves beyond any current understanding we may have obtained while reaffirming our commitment to achieving an even greater connection with God (Berger 2011). 

In addition to trusting irrefutably in God, we must actively display our trust through obedience to His teachings and devoted service towards fulfilling his commandments.  Deuteronomy 7:9 commands us to – “Know therefore that the LORD thy God… keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments…”

These instructions are at the heart of what it means to “trust in the Lord with all thine heart,” as Matthew 6 attests further validity – “If ye love me, keep My commandments”. 

Consequently, by doing so, we are actively demonstrating our readiness and openness into full communion with him which involves spiritually listening for and taking heed of His direction even when it does not match our personal judgement.

As Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.”


Heschel A., Abraham Joshua, (1960). Man Is Not Alone. Farrar Strauss Giroux New York p. 65 

Shemot Rabbah 16:19, as sourced through (2020)

Deuteronomy 7:9 KJV Bible 

Psalm 9:10 KJV Bible 

Ecclesiastes 8:15 KJV Bible 

Berger, E., 2011 Resolution – Trusting In Hashem Tehilim 147 : 11 https://www.oujmhweb-wpengine2gbstorage1aakhwstgcontentuploads201710resolutiontrustinHaber_EphraimBergersch-11_Tehilim147[Tuly2011].pdf Retrieved 7th April 2020 

Drisha Institute 2020, Shemot Rabbah 16:19. http://www.drisha-institute/wpcontent/uploads/2018/07/ShmotRabah1619v1p1[sm].pdf Retrieved 7th April 2020 

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, (2008), The Faith Of Reason, pp39. Retrieved 7th April 2020

Schneider, W. (2015). Bible Studies for Newcomers.