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In search of contentment

In search of contentment

Proverbs 3:5-6

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.

Trust in the Lord, heck I don’t even know him. I don’t believe in him why should I trust him? What has he ever done for me or mine?

What do you mean trust in him and lean not on my own understanding? I have worked hard and studied many hundreds of hours to get where I am and I am not to lean on my own knowledge, are you kidding me? Give up control to an intangible concept that may or may not be there, I don’t even give up control to those who work with and around me.

Batach is the Hebrew word to trust. Noah Webster defined trust as, confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person. Trust does not come lightly, easily, or without some kind of proof that one deserves trust.

When we look deeper into the word, we find it means to trust, trust in, to have confidence, be confident, to be bold, to be secure, to cause to trust, make secure, to feel safe, or be careless. Who doesn’t want those feelings? In other words – contentment. Isn’t that what most of us are looking for, peace and contentment. This satisfaction comes from trust; it comes from Batach.


And what are you to trust with? Our hearts. As I wrote in “Peace and Prosperity”, “We are emotional beings, not robots. We think, act, respond, survive, and succeed with our emotions and by putting our hearts on the line, not our heads.” We are not talking the physical heart but the “leb”, inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding

  1. inner part, midst
  1. midst (of things)
  2. heart (of man)
  3. soul, heart (of man)
  4. mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
  5. inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
  6. conscience
  7. heart (of moral character)
  8. as seat of appetites
  9. as seat of emotions and passions 1a
  1. as seat of courage


As Precept Austin writes in their post Heart - Leb, Lebab (Hebrew Word Study),

“Just as a healthy human heart is at the center of the body and absolutely essential for physical life and health, so too a healthy spiritual heart (intellect, emotion, will) is at the center of one's inner being (soul) and is vital for a healthy soul, serving as the "fountain" of all moral attitudes and actions. Our spiritual heart thus controls out actions and our actions determine our habits, which in turn determine our character.”

What do others say?

John MacArthur - The “heart” commonly refers to the mind as the center of thinking and reason (Pr 3:3; 6:21;7:3), but also includes the emotions (Pr 15:15, 30), the will (Pr 11:20; 14:14), and thus, the whole inner being (Pr 3:5). The heart is the depository of all wisdom and the source of whatever affects speech (Pr 4:24), sight (Pr 4:25), and conduct (Pr 4:26, 27). (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word )

John Kitto - All the phrases, more or less metaphorical, in which this word occurs, are rendered intelligible, without detailed examples, when we are told that the heart was, among the Hebrews, regarded poetically not only as the seat of the passions and emotions, as of love, pleasure, and grief, but also of the intellectual faculties—the mind, the understanding.

Richard Watson - The Hebrews regarded the heart as the source of wit, understanding, love, courage, grief, and pleasure… The heart is said to be dilated by joy, contracted by sadness, broken by sorrow, to grow fat, and be hardened by prosperity. The heart melts under discouragement, forsakes one under terror, is desolate in affliction, and fluctuating in doubt.

Why do I spend so much time on this? Because we are more than just a temporal being, we are part of the universe and as such are connected in many more ways than we can ever understand or appreciate!

There is the word understanding again – “lean not on your own understanding”.

Do you understand how there is blood in your veins, and it is pumped by your heart through your body and it will continue to do so as long as the heart functions properly?

Do you understand how the lungs take in the oxygen from the air (which we cannot see) and this oxygen is instrumental in keeping us alive?

Do you understand how the earth is at an exact 23.5-degree angle which is essential to give us seasons that creates life, replenishes life, and takes time to give parts of the world tine to rest so it can prepare itself for another cycle?

I am fairly positive there are many things in life that you don’t understand, I certainly am in awe of countless things. I have had many operations in the last three years, and I can’t figure out how the skin repairs itself – the doctors can’t tell me.

Unless we are of an extremely high intelligence or understanding level how we can possibly lean on our own understanding! To take this a step further, we all must come from the same place of understanding, the same foundation of morality, upbringing, values, experiences, knowledge, and morals. Is this possible? Hardly! That is why we must all lean on God, the King of truth, justice, fairness, knowledge, and righteousness.

Sha’an is the Hebrew word for to lean on, trust in, and support. It’s primitive root means; to support one's self: —lean, lie, rely, rest (on, self), stay. Based on those few questions that I posed to you a moment ago, you can easily see why you should not lean on your own understanding, simply because it is so woefully inadequate.

For example, many today believe that life came to be by accident, a wonderful big bang! Rabbi Dr. Ephrain Horowitz a physicist and engineer writes.

“For an atheist, the accidental, spontaneous generation of life from inanimate minerals is essential to their core beliefs. It is the foundation of the philosophy that people are no more than a collection of simple particles. Just as non-living particles have no moral responsibilities; neither do the humans that contain them. Their premise is that the span of hundreds of millions of years from the beginning of planet Earth to the present is quite long enough for generating the millions of species we find here [1]. The only alternative to life by accident is the existence of a Creator which would be unacceptable to them.

Thus, just like the Jews stand upon the Exodus from Egypt emerging from slavery to freedom, so do the atheists rely on their Exodus from the Primordial Soup of mud to salamanders as the foundation of their faith.”


Rabbi Horowitz wrote an amazing fact-based numerical amount of time that it would take to create the earth starting from nothing would be around 19.65 billion years and scientists have given our universe only 14 billion years, hmmm.

A fascinating short read:

We can only lean on and trust in that which was is, and will always be! God.

I say this because Rabbi Horowitz was only talking about creating the earth, not the universe or life. Life requires DNA and DNA is much more complex that creating the earth and even though we have DNA we still don’t have life, another big hmmmmmm.

Once again, I borrow from Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Horowitz;

“Here on Earth, we see simple non-organic compounds of only a few atoms. Numerous experiments contrived to simulate special life-generating conditions have also only generated compounds of roughly 20 atoms. But the simplest living single-cell creatures have billions of atoms. This is a huge gap and we see nothing in between. This gap indicates that the Earth is not the great random molecule generator that it would need to be to even attempt a chance at accidental life.”

Let’s finish the passage, it means in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight. Acknowledge or yada’ is as usual so much deeper that we assume. It means that we must know God, be loyal to Him, there is a covenant between us, a deep understanding, and a relationship with Him. Furthermore, it is to have God in your heart.

So, when you have God in your heart, He will make your paths straight. Again not what you would expect but what you might imagine. Path, ‘orach, a path, a road; but more, a way of living, your way of living. You are the traveler down this path, and you make your decisions as to which fork to take or when to stop and start. You are in control. Does it say that the path will be dull or boring, easy or hard, challenging, or a cakewalk, no just straight?

Ahhh, but if you keep God close in your heart, he will make your paths straight, yashar. Because of what we learn from God’s word the Bible, and the modeling of His son Jesus we learn what is right and what is wrong – the straight path. Yashar means straight, upright or right, righteous, direct, or honest. What more can we ask for if not finding contentment in knowing that we have lived a life of honesty, directness, and righteousness?


Fleming, T. (2017, April 28). YADA': The Unique Heart of True Christianity. Retrieved from teachicoc:

Goldtmann. (2020, October 25). Trust – Batach – בָּטְח. Retrieved from goldtmann:,the%20word%20they%20are%20studying.

Heart - Leb, Lebab (Hebrew Word Study). (2016, July 16). Retrieved from Precept Austin:

Hegg, T. (2020, November 1). Hebrew Word Yada. Retrieved from torah resourse:

Horowitz, R. D. (2020, November 1). Did Life Start by Accident? The Missing Pieces. Retrieved from aish:

Horowitz, R. D. (2020, November 1). Life by Accident. Retrieved from Aish:

Laura, C. a. (2016, January 2). WORD STUDY – LEAD ME IN AN EVEN PATH. Retrieved from chaimbentorah:

Leb. (2020, October 25). Retrieved from Bible Study Tools:

Moen, S. (2011, September 17). Common Nonsense. Retrieved from Skip Moen:

Moen, S. (2015, July 30). Batach in Greek. Retrieved from Skip Moen:

Navah. (2016, December 16). WHAT IS TRUST IN THE HEBRAIC MINDSET? Retrieved from Time of Reckoning:

'orach. (2020, November 1). Retrieved from Bible Study Tools:

Sha'an. (2020, November 1). Retrieved from Bible Study Tools:

Sha'an. (2020, November 1). Retrieved from Blue Letter Bible:

Strong's #982: batach (pronounced baw-takh'). (2020, October 25). Retrieved from Bible Tools:


Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.


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