Proverbs 21

Welcome back! I’m glad you’re joining me for this Proverb. Look at verse 2: “All a man’s ways look right to him; but the LORD weighs the heart.” This, again, shows that everyone thinks they’re right. But, when faced with truth, they have no choice but to acknowledge the truth.

Look at verse 4: “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!” The lamp of the wicked? Why’s that sin? Look at the same verse in NLT :”Haughty eyes, a proud heart, evil actions, are all sins.” So the lamp of the wicked…is…sin? Interesting. Why is a haughty eye sin? Haughtiness is defined as “blatantly and disdainfully proud” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and being prideful is one of the things the LORD hates (Proverbs 6:16-17).

Verse 5: “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Plan hard and work hard, and your project will turn out right. But if you just run right into things, they’ll be disastrous.

Verse 8: “The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the righteous is upright.” Do some journal work on this verse. It’s similar to others we’ve discussed.

Verse 10: “The wicked man craves evil; his neighbor gets no mercy from him.” The wicked man plots evil, he looks forward to it with anxiety. He plots it, he performs it, and he constantly comes up with new ways of doing evil to himself and his neighbors. You need to watch out for those kinds of people, and you need to stay away from them.

Verse 12: “The Righteous One takes note on the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin.” God sees the misfortunes, the tortures, etc. that goes on within the earth, and though at times it may seem like He doesn’t do anything about it for a while, He knows, and He has plans, too.

Verse 13: “If a man ignores the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” There was a show I saw where there was a character who was always crying for help, but then when she really needed it, everyone ignored her because they thought she was just joking-around again.

Verse 15: “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to the evildoers.” Justice delights people. Do journal work on this. *

Verse 16: “The man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.” You see, whoever goes away from God won’t lose his salvation. No, but he will lose his relationship with God and he will suffer for it.

Verse 20: “In the house of the righteous are choice stores of food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” Again, wise people plan and calculate their needs and when and how they’re going to fulfill those needs.

Verse 22: “A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.” Two things:

1.) The wise plan for things

2.) Wicked people believe in materials or false gods to protect them, but the wise man will pull down their stronghold that they trust in.

Verse 25: “The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.” He stares at what he wants but won’t do the few things needed to get it.

Connect verse 25 with 26: “The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.” The lazy people want a bunch – but won’t do the work for it. And then as they want more, the righteous are abundant in giving to the needy. Notice I said needy – they don’t give it to the lazy people who don’t bother to work for things, they give it to those who can’t. Check out this interesting Q&A clip from 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, Roper Center for Public Opinion Research:
“Q. We often hear that religious people give more to charity than secularists. Is this true?
A. In the year 2000, “religious” people (the 33 percent of the population who attend their houses of worship at least once per week) were 25 percentage points more likely to give charitably than “secularists” (the 27 percent who attend less than a few times per year, or have no religion). They were also 23 percentage points more likely to volunteer. When considering the average dollar amounts of money donated and time volunteered, the gap between the groups increases even further: religious people gave nearly four times more dollars per year, on average, than secularists ($2,210 versus $642). They also volunteered more than twice as often (12 times per year, versus 5.8 times).

“Very little of this gap is due to personal differences between religious and secular people with respect to income, age, family, or anything else. For instance, imagine two people who are identical in income, education, age, race, and marital status. The one difference between them is that, while one goes to church every week, the other never does. Knowing this, we can predict that the churchgoer will be 21 percentage points more likely to make a charitable gift of money during the year than the nonchurchgoer, and will also be 26 points more likely to volunteer.”

Verse 28: “A false witness will perish, and whoever listens to him will be destroyed forever.” Again, question your teaching. Does it line up with the Bible? There are some things that the Bible does not clearly talk about, like how to drive a car. It doesn’t say, “If someone’s trying to pull out, let them go first.” But the Bible does have verses about putting others first. Like 1 Corinthians 10:24.

Verse 30: “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” Bulls-eye! That’s a great verse. It explains how God can override our power with his authority and power and work through our selfish and worldly ambitions and do his will.
* See my post on Proverbs 14, last paragraph.

Mark 16:15


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