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Scripture

Proverbs 21

Proverbs 21:7-12


  The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.
  The way of the guilty is crooked,
    but the conduct of the pure is upright.
  It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10   The soul of the wicked desires evil;
    his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11   When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
    when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12   The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
    he throws the wicked down to ruin.

(ESV)

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Scripture

Proverbs 21

Proverbs 21:1-6


21:1   The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
    he turns it wherever he will.
  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the LORD weighs the heart.
  To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
  Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    the lamp1 of the wicked, are sin.
  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.2

Footnotes

[1] 21:4 Or the plowing

[2] 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death

(ESV)

Categories
Scripture

Proverbs 21

Proverbs 21


21:1   The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
    he turns it wherever he will.
  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the LORD weighs the heart.
  To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
  Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    the lamp1 of the wicked, are sin.
  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.2
  The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.
  The way of the guilty is crooked,
    but the conduct of the pure is upright.
  It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10   The soul of the wicked desires evil;
    his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11   When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
    when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12   The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
    he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13   Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
    will himself call out and not be answered.
14   A gift in secret averts anger,
    and a concealed bribe,3 strong wrath.
15   When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
    but terror to evildoers.
16   One who wanders from the way of good sense
    will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17   Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
    he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18   The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
    and the traitor for the upright.
19   It is better to live in a desert land
    than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20   Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling,
    but a foolish man devours it.
21   Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22   A wise man scales the city of the mighty
    and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23   Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
    keeps himself out of trouble.
24   “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
    who acts with arrogant pride.
25   The desire of the sluggard kills him,
    for his hands refuse to labor.
26   All day long he craves and craves,
    but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
27   The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
28   A false witness will perish,
    but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29   A wicked man puts on a bold face,
    but the upright gives thought to4 his ways.
30   No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
    can avail against the LORD.
31   The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the LORD.

Footnotes

[1] 21:4 Or the plowing

[2] 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death

[3] 21:14 Hebrew a bribe in the bosom

[4] 21:29 Or establishes

(ESV)

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Scripture

Going Deeper

Proverbs 20 (6-19-21)

Proverbs 20:17 and 20 says:

17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.

21 An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.

This is great counsel for people who struggle with sin. Yeah, that’s all of us. We are often tempted to take the easy road or to benefit at someone else’s expense because we want the immediate gratification. But Solomon warns us that while it might taste good for a moment or a period of time, it will lead to judgment and consequence. Bread that is sweet is not worth a mouth full of gravel. There are so many things on which we are tempted to compromise. These things seem little and/or we think, “No one will know.” So we take a taste or just a look. The problem is the prize or satisfaction is so fleeting and will not last long.

Consider a few potent examples:

The person who gives into sexual engagement outside of marriage experiences a short escapade and climax that is here and then gone. But the grief and guilt and consequence of that passion played out can truly be exponential. This is why Paul was so strong in his words in 1 Corinthians 6:18, which say, “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.”

Another example is spending money you do not have. The temptation to buy something you really want now, even though God has not yet entrusted you with the money to afford it is very strong. The society we live in is constantly pushing this drug on us. “Buy now and pay later,” or “It will never be this cheap again,” or telling you that you deserve to splurge a little. The problem is spending money you don’t yet have means you are now indebted to another, and the amount you will pay in interest by the time it’s paid off means you paid three or four times the amount it cost to begin with. So much for saving money because it was on sale! I have seen this affect families and set them back for years if not decades. Talk about a mouth full of gravel.

Instead of looking to the things of the world to satisfy us, we are desperate to look to Christ alone for satisfaction.

C.S. Lewis once said, “… it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

We are guilty of dreaming for and chasing scraps, as we try to find deep, lasting pleasure in fast cars, big screen TV’s, extra-marital sex, and tasty meals.

Pascal once said, “But these are all inadequate, because … the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable Object, that is to say, only by God Himself.” Christian, instead of selling out for fleeting things and buying yourself a bunch of consequence and heartache, consider the words of the Psalmist:

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 36:8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from your river of delights.

In the Psalms, God is the “all-satisfying object.” In Him alone we find the source of complete and unending pleasure!

Psalm 16:11 (NASB 1995) You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

If we are to avoid the pitfalls of sinful decisions for instant gratification, then we must fight back those temptations with a greater affection that we have in Jesus.

Jesus said in John 15:4-5 (NIV), “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

We must remain or abide in Jesus every day, all day, as long as it’s called today. Why? Because the temptation to see and savor something else, something in creation over the Creator, is very real and constant. When we abide or remain in Jesus, we will bear good fruit—the fruit of the Spirit—instead of bearing bad fruit and life-altering consequences like Solomon warns about in Proverbs 20.

How do we remain in Jesus? The answer is by holding fast to His word and inviting the other branches (mature Christians) in your life to constantly reorient your focus and cling to Jesus. This is a beautiful gift God has given us in our salvation: to walk in the body in unity and not try to navigate this treacherous life alone. We need our blood-bought brothers and sisters in our lives constantly to remind us of the beauty of the gospel and to help us stay focused on Jesus.

The author of Hebrews said this so well in chapter 12:

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

By His grace and for His glory,

Joshua “Shepherd” Kirstine

Soldiers for Jesus MC

Categories
Scripture

Proverbs 20

Proverbs 20:22-30


22   Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
    wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.
23   Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD,
    and false scales are not good.
24   A man’s steps are from the LORD;
    how then can man understand his way?
25   It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and to reflect only after making vows.
26   A wise king winnows the wicked
    and drives the wheel over them.
27   The spirit1 of man is the lamp of the LORD,
    searching all his innermost parts.
28   Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
    and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
29   The glory of young men is their strength,
    but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30   Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
    strokes make clean the innermost parts.

Footnotes

[1] 20:27 Hebrew breath

(ESV)