A “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (v. 9).
A1 “Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord” (v. 20)
A2 “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (v. 33)
Note that the first part speaks of the plans of man, but the second, the overriding will of God.
In v. 9, the word, “establishes” (Heb. kun) means, to “direct one’s step” (Hiphil stem, BDB). Make plans this New Year. But remember that it is the Lord who directs your steps.
In v. 20, the noun, “word” (Heb. dabar), means, “speaking, thing” (TWOT) or the matter being discussed. Thus, plan carefully about a matter, and see good results. But blessed are you who trusts the Lord in your planning. In other words, it’s good to plan carefully. But it is more important to trust the Lord in your plans. Put your faith in God’s plans, and not in your plans.
In v. 33, lots are cast to determine God’s will. The apostles used lots to choose Matthias to replace Judas. We’re not sure if the writer refers to some kind of dice. A lot is thrown on the “lap”—the fold of a person’s clothes. The point is that the Lord determines the fall of the lot. You throw the lot, but the Lord directs where the lot falls.
What does all this tell us? Make your plans this New Year. But God may overrule your plans with His plans.
You can do either one of three things. One, you can tell God your plans without asking His plans. Two, you can make your plans and ask God to bless them. Three, and I urge you to do this. Begin with God, and ask Him His plans. Then you offer yourself to Him to carry out His plans.