Proverbs 27:1 (NLT)
Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.
My wife and I got into the habit of saying “God willing” at the end of most of our declarative statements a few years back as a result of encountering some of life’s harder moments…which seemed to come at us out of left field. With sudden loss or disappointment or heartache comes the awareness that life is indeed precious…precarious…and fleeting.
Today’s proverb is not about pouring cold water on our hopes and dreams, but rather, serves as a warning against boastful proclamations regarding what is to come (Jas. 4:13-17). Only the God of the Bible can truly see over the next hill or around the next curve, and we need to remain humble enough to accept that reality. This admonition against bragging about tomorrow also calls us to the importance of the here and now. You will never get today back, so you need to live accordingly. Who do you need to love on today? Forgive? Thank? Comfort? Pray with? Reconcile with? You may not get another chance.
Additionally, bragging takes the spotlight off of God’s sovereignty…but also his goodness and mercy. When we brag about our plans or intentions, we assume care, custody, and control of our future and in essence, act as if we can cut God out of the deal. God’s sovereignty overrides every one of our calendar entries and not a single one of them will come to pass outside of His will. Felix, the Roman Governor, felt the weight of conviction under Paul’s preaching and planned to hear more “in a convenient season”, but that season never came (Acts 24:25). Jesus talked about the rich farmer who confidently planned for his future but died that very night (Lk. 12:20). Both of these men boasted…neither of them received.
Finally, it’s worth noting that having knowledge of the future would be a precarious thing, indeed. Spurgeon considered what a blessing it was that we don’t have possession of such a terrible weight. “To know the good might lead us to presumption, to know the evil might tempt us to despair. Happy for us is it that our eyes cannot penetrate the thick veil which God hangs between us and tomorrow, that we cannot see beyond the spot where we now are, and that, in a certain sense, we are utterly ignorant as to the details of the future. We may, indeed, be thankful for our ignorance.”