Jeremiah 10:23 Index
"O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."
Bibliography ===== Jeremiah 10:24

" . . . I know . . . "

  • The prophet is the speaker but he speaks as Israel's representative. (Jeremiah 10:23; Jeremiah 10:24) constitute a prayer of intercession, with an appropriate confession of sin and a petition for moderation in punishment (Jeremiah 18:20). (4BC 403

" . . . the way . . . "

  • That is, the course of life. (4BC 403)

" . . . not in himself . . . "

  • In and of himself man cannot properly determine where and how he should go. He needs divine guidance (Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 20:24). The Israelites preferred their own way. (4BC 403)

" . . . direct his steps . . . "

  • Man needs divine guidance for each single step. God directs the steps of a good man. (Psalm 37:23). (4BC 403)
    • The mechanism of the human body cannot be fully understood; it presents mysteries that baffle the most intelligent. It is not as the result of a mechanism, which, once set in motion, continues its work, that the pulse beats and breath follows breath. In God we live and move and have our being. The beating heart, the throbbing pulse, every nerve and muscle in the living organism, is kept in order and activity by the power of an ever-present God.
    • The Bible shows us God in His high and holy place, not in a state of inactivity, not in silence and solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy beings, all waiting to do His will. Through these messengers He is in active communication with every part of His dominion. By His Spirit He is everywhere present. Through the agency of His Spirit and His angels He ministers to the children of men.
    • Above the distractions of the earth He sits enthroned; all things are open to His divine survey; and from His great and calm eternity He orders that which His providence sees best. (MH 417)
    • There are those who have a reckless spirit, which they term courage and bravery. They needlessly place themselves in scenes of danger and peril, thus exposing themselves to temptations out of which it would require a miracle of God to bring them unharmed and untainted. Satan's temptation to the Saviour of the world to cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple was firmly met and resisted. Satan quoted a promise of God as security that Christ might with safety do this on the strength of the promise. Christ met the temptation with scripture: “It is written, ... Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:7). The only safe course for Christians is to repulse the enemy with God's word. Satan urges men into places where God does not require them to go, and presents scripture to justify his suggestions.
      • God's precious promises are not given to strengthen man in a presumptuous course or for him to rely upon when he rushes needlessly into danger. The Lord requires us to move with a humble dependence upon His providence. “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). In God is our prosperity and our life. Nothing can be done prosperously without the permission and blessing of God. He can set His hand to prosper and bless, or He can turn His hand against us. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5). We are required, as children of God, to maintain a consistent Christian character. We should exercise prudence, caution, and humility, and walk circumspectly toward them that are without. Yet we are not in any case to surrender principle. (3T 482)
  • The experiences through which Jeremiah passed in the days of his youth and also in the later years of his ministry, taught him the lesson that “the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). He learned to pray, “O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in Thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing” (Jeremiah 10:24). (PK 420-421)