A man's heart devises his way: but the LORD directs his steps.
"A man's heart," that is, his mind, his inward powers of reflection, anticipation, skill, prudence, "deviseth his way" — a term implying the application of all possible consideration, invention, and precaution — but the "Lord directeth his steps." The words express and expose the folly and presumption, on man's part, of self-confidence — of his thus assuring himself of success, as if he had the future under his eye, and at his bidding; regardless of that hidden but ever-present, ever- busy superintending power that has all under complete command; that can at once arrest his progress in the very midst and at the very height of his boasting, and "turn to foolishness" all his devices. The sacred oracles are full of this sentiment, and of the most striking exemplifications of its truth. And what is the sentiment of revelation cannot fail to command the concurrence of enlightened reason. It must be so. If there is a God at all it cannot be otherwise. It were the height of irrationality as well as impiety for a moment to question it — to imagine the contrary possible. How otherwise could God govern the world? Were not all human schemes under supreme and irresistible control, what would become of the certainty of the Divine? All must of necessity fulfil the plans of Infinite Wisdom in the administration of God's universal government. "God will work, and who shall let it?"
(R. Wardlaw, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.