Proverbs 16:3 literally says, “Roll your actions toward Yahweh and your devices will be setup.” While that can seem a bit cryptic at first, there is a lot of beautiful imagery here.
“Rolling your actions toward God” shows that there has to be an intentionality behind what you do. The idea is that you aren’t aimlessly careening (e.g., an object in motion stays in motion) or remaining stagnant (i.e., an object at rest stays at rest). Instead, you’re constantly pushing and guiding your actions and activities closer to God.
The Hebrew word for “devices” is used in the same sense as the idiom “left to your own devices.” Another word that could be used is “contrivance,” which the Oxford Dictionary beautifully defines as: “the use of skill to bring something about or create something.” While it’s often translated “work or plans,” it carries more the idea of “intentions” or even “the ability to plan or work.”
The phrase, “will be setup,” carries the idea of being “built or raised up for a purpose.” Interestingly, it is the imperfect tense of the verb, meaning that it’s arguably a future process more than an instantaneous action.
Every time you faithfully make a conscious effort to draw closer to God in all that you do, you’re building up the enduring skills and abilities to be more effective in the future. God will give us the grace, strength, and endurance needed—both to build and maintain—but our part is keeping an attentive ear and loving obedience to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Proverbs 16:1–3; Colossians 2:6–8; 1 Peter 1:13–16, 22–25; James 4:5–10