Category Archives: Wisdom and Folly

When The Righteous Increase, The People Rejoice

Let us pray for an increase of righteous, godly people in our churches, communities, government, states, nation, and across the world. Let us seek righteousness in God’s word and through relationship with Him. Do not pursue the deceptions of worldly teaching on what is righteous and what is wicked for Satan revels in deception as those that claim God all the while rebel against His ways.

Proverbs 29

Warnings and Instructions

1A man who hardens his neck after much reproof
Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.

2When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
But when a wicked man rules, people groan.

3A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.

4The king gives stability to the land by justice,
But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

5A man who flatters his neighbor
Is spreading a net for his steps.

6By transgression an evil man is ensnared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.

7The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor,
The wicked does not understand such concern.

8Scorners set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away anger.

9When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man,
The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.

10Men of bloodshed hate the blameless,
But the upright are concerned for his life.

11A fool always loses his temper,
But a wise man holds it back.

12If a ruler pays attention to falsehood,
All his ministers become wicked.

13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.

14If a king judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.

15The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

16When the wicked increase, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

17Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
He will also delight your soul.

18Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
But happy is he who keeps the law.

19A slave will not be instructed by words alone;
For though he understands, there will be no response.

20Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

21He who pampers his slave from childhood
Will in the end find him to be a son.

22An angry man stirs up strife,
And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.

23A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

24He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He hears the oath but tells nothing.

25The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

26Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the LORD.

27An unjust man is abominable to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Those Who Seek the LORD Understand All Things

Those who seek the Lord understand all things. Take time to read, consider and pray about each verse in today’s chapter of Proverbs. No matter how far I am in my walk with the Lord and how many times I read, I always find something, or many things that apply in my life and can serve as a guide to light my way… if I am humble enough to admit I need guidance and that Jehovah provides it and if I am willing to study and apply it in my life.

Proverbs 28

Warnings and Instructions

1The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

2By the transgression of a land many are its princes,
But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.

3A poor man who oppresses the lowly
Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.

4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law strive with them.

5Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the LORD understand all things.

6Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked though he be rich.

7He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.

8He who increases his wealth by interest and usury
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.

9He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

10He who leads the upright astray in an evil way
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.

11The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding sees through him.

12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.

13He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

14How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

15Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear
Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

16A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding,
But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

17A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.

18He who walks blamelessly will be delivered,
But he who is crooked will fall all at once.

19He who tills his land will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.

20A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

21To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

22A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth
And does not know that want will come upon him.

23He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
Than he who flatters with the tongue.

24He who robs his father or his mother
And says, “It is not a transgression,”
Is the companion of a man who destroys.

25An arrogant man stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

26He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But he who walks wisely will be delivered.

27He who gives to the poor will never want,
But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.

28When the wicked rise, men hide themselves;
But when they perish, the righteous increase.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

He Who Cares for His Master Will Be Honored

Proverbs contains much wisdom. It still applies today. People have not changed and neither has YHWH. Read it, digest it, accept that it applies to you and you will grow wiser. Take care not to dismiss it because some of the examples are from a different time and culture. Prayerfully reflect on each one and how it may apply today to you and your family. Ask YHWH to enlighten your mind as you read scripture.

In all things, let us care for our heavenly Father and Creator. Let us not seek honor for ourselves but through serving Him. Let us partake of His wisdom and grow wiser.

Proverbs 27

Warnings and Instructions

1Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.

2Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.

3A stone is heavy and the sand weighty,
But the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them.

4Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood,
But who can stand before jealousy?

5Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.

6Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

7A sated man loathes honey,
But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet.

8Like a bird that wanders from her nest,
So is a man who wanders from his home.

9Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

10Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend,
And do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away.

11Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
That I may reply to him who reproaches me.

12A prudent man sees evil and hides himself,
The naive proceed and pay the penalty.

13Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger;
And for an adulterous woman hold him in pledge.

14He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning,
It will be reckoned a curse to him.

15A constant dripping on a day of steady rain
And a contentious woman are alike;

16He who would restrain her restrains the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.

17Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.

18He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit,
And he who cares for his master will be honored.

19As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man.

20Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

21The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And each is tested by the praise accorded him.

22Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.

23Know well the condition of your flocks,
And pay attention to your herds;

24For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.

25When the grass disappears, the new growth is seen,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,

26The lambs will be for your clothing,
And the goats will bring the price of a field,

27And there will be goats’ milk enough for your food,
For the food of your household,
And sustenance for your maidens.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Do Not Answer A Fool According To His Folly

Let us not get swept away in the “logic” and “wisdom” of the world lest we answer fools according to their folly, and in so doing become also like them. We are better off seeking to understand and apply the wisdom of our Creator as shared in the Bible.

Proverbs 26

Similitudes, Instructions

1Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a fool.

2Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
So a curse without cause does not alight.

3A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the back of fools.

4Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Or you will also be like him.

5Answer a fool as his folly deserves,
That he not be wise in his own eyes.

6He cuts off his own feet and drinks violence
Who sends a message by the hand of a fool.

7Like the legs which are useless to the lame,
So is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

8Like one who binds a stone in a sling,
So is he who gives honor to a fool.

9Like a thorn which falls into the hand of a drunkard,
So is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

10Like an archer who wounds everyone,
So is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by.

11Like a dog that returns to its vomit
Is a fool who repeats his folly.

12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion is in the open square!”

14As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the sluggard on his bed.

15The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again.

16The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can give a discreet answer.

17Like one who takes a dog by the ears
Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.

18Like a madman who throws
Firebrands, arrows and death,

19So is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, “Was I not joking?”

20For lack of wood the fire goes out,
And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down.

21Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.

22The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels,
And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

23Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross
Are burning lips and a wicked heart.

24He who hates disguises it with his lips,
But he lays up deceit in his heart.

25When he speaks graciously, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart.

26Though his hatred covers itself with guile,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

27He who digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him.

28A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Like An Ornament Of Fine Gold, So Is A Wise Reprover To A Listening Ear

Ask the Spirit to enlighten the meaning and relevance of scripture to you each time you sit to read and reflect on scripture. He is counselor and guide. All scripture is still relevant and worthy for use in teaching and rebuking.

Proverbs 25

Similitudes, Instructions

1These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed.

2It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

3As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
So the heart of kings is unsearchable.

4Take away the dross from the silver,
And there comes out a vessel for the smith;

5Take away the wicked before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.

6Do not claim honor in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the place of great men;

7For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,”
Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen.

8Do not go out hastily to argue your case;
Otherwise, what will you do in the end,
When your neighbor humiliates you?

9Argue your case with your neighbor,
And do not reveal the secret of another,

10Or he who hears it will reproach you,
And the evil report about you will not pass away.

11Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.

12Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
Is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

13Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
For he refreshes the soul of his masters.

14Like clouds and wind without rain
Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.

15By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded,
And a soft tongue breaks the bone.

16Have you found honey? Eat only what you need,
That you not have it in excess and vomit it.

17Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor’s house,
Or he will become weary of you and hate you.

18Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow
Is a man who bears false witness against his neighbor.

19Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot
Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.

20Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda,
Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.

21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;

22For you will heap burning coals on his head,
And the LORD will reward you.

23The north wind brings forth rain,
And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance.

24It is better to live in a corner of the roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

25Like cold water to a weary soul,
So is good news from a distant land.

26Like a trampled spring and a polluted well
Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

27It is not good to eat much honey,
Nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory.

28Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Ever Heard Proverbs Compared To Nesting Dolls?

Have you ever seen the set of wooden dolls which fit one inside another inside another inside another… and so on. There may be ten stacked inside one another. They are called matryoshka nesting dolls.  They do not look like much when they are stacked inside one another, but watch how much is there as you unpack it and spread them out. Proverbs strikes me much the same way. If we are not careful, we may just read quickly over a chapter of Proverbs, saying… “that is nice” or “that is clever” and never really internalize the wisdom it contains. We should take our time to prayerfully consider the warnings and wisdom contained in each chapter. Carefully unpack each verse and consider it. Do not hurry. Appreciate each one for the wisdom it contains and take a few moments to consider how it applies to your life.

Proverbs 24

Precepts and Warnings

         1Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;

2For their minds devise violence,
And their lips talk of trouble.

3By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;

4And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

5A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.

6For by wise guidance you will wage war,
And in abundance of counselors there is victory.

7Wisdom is too exalted for a fool,
He does not open his mouth in the gate.

8One who plans to do evil,
Men will call a schemer.

9The devising of folly is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.

10If you are slack in the day of distress,
Your strength is limited.

11Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.

12If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?

13My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;

14Know that wisdom is thus for your soul;
If you find it, then there will be a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.

15Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not destroy his resting place;

16For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;

18Or the LORD will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.

19Do not fret because of evildoers
Or be envious of the wicked;

20For there will be no future for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21My son, fear the LORD and the king;
Do not associate with those who are given to change,

22For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?

23These also are sayings of the wise.
To show partiality in judgment is not good.

24He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him;

25But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.

26He kisses the lips
Who gives a right answer.

27Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.

28Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
And do not deceive with your lips.

29Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”

30I passed by the field of the sluggard
And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,

31And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles;
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.

32When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.

33“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,”

34Then your poverty will come as a robber
And your want like an armed man.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Buy Truth and Do Not Sell It. Get Understanding.

Not everyone we meet is to be taken at face value for everything they may tell you. Some may invite you to eat from their table, but silently curse you if they think you are being greedy about how much you eat or ungrateful about not thanking them enough. We should thoughtfully consider our behavior and how it matches with what YHWH tells us to do (and not to do) and also how our actions may affect others around us. Our Father has much to tell us about life and conduct in the Bible.

Proverbs 23

On Life and Conduct

1When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you,

2And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man of great appetite.

3Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.

4Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.

5When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

6Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;

7For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

8You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your compliments.

9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10Do not move the ancient boundary
Or go into the fields of the fatherless,

11For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their case against you.

12Apply your heart to discipline
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

14You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.

15My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad;

16And my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak what is right.

17Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the fear of the LORD always.

18Surely there is a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.

19Listen, my son, and be wise,
And direct your heart in the way.

20Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;

21For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.

22Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.

25Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

26Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight in my ways.

27For a harlot is a deep pit
And an adulterous woman is a narrow well.

28Surely she lurks as a robber,
And increases the faithless among men.

29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?

30Those who linger long over wine,
Those who go to taste mixed wine.

31Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it goes down smoothly;

32At the last it bites like a serpent
And stings like a viper.

33Your eyes will see strange things
And your mind will utter perverse things.

34And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.

35“They struck me, but I did not become ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink.”

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Reward of Humility And The Fear Of The Lord

The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life. Pause and ask the Spirit to guide you and speak to you as you read Proverbs today. May He open our eyes to the truth of God’s word and how it applies in our lives. May we be humble enough to identify and admit where we need to make changes.

Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

1A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.

2The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The LORD is the maker of them all.

3The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

4The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

5Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.

6Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

7The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

8He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.

9He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.

10Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.

11He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

12The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.

13The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”

14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the LORD will fall into it.

15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

16He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;

18For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.

19So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you.

20Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,

21To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

22Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;

23For the LORD will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

24Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,

25Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

26Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.

27If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

28Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

29Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

There is much wisdom, much treasure, in Proverbs. Read it slowly and carefully. Reflect on how each part applies in your life and the lives of others around you. Pray for insight and help to make necessary changes in your life to come more in line with God’s wisdom and advice rather than “how you have always done things” or “how the world does things” or what is “normal”.

Only God is truly wise, so let us listen and obey.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Every Man’s Way is Right in His Own Eyes

Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the daily events in our world or locality. We can be overwhelmed thinking about all the things that can go wrong and are going wrong… about the wickedness and evil… about those who claim the name of Jesus Christ but do not submit to and follow Him with their lives.

I find it encouraging as I think about such things to remember that even kings and rulers are in the hand of YHWH and can be used by Him. He is ultimately in control and we can trust Him. Rather than allow ourselves to be paralyzed with fear of what may happen to us or our brothers and sisters in Christ, let us reflect on what God wants from us. God wants us to obey His commands, demonstrating righteousness and justice. He wants us to love Him with our whole heart and if we do… we will follow His commands and not consider them a burden, but rather a helpful guide to lead us through our life on this earth.

As you read through Proverbs today, do not hurry, but rather dwell for a moment on each verse, thinking about how it applies today and to your life. Every verse still has wisdom to help us if we study it and apply it.

Proverbs 21

On Life and Conduct

      1The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes.

      2Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the hearts.

      3To do righteousness and justice
Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.

      4Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
The lamp of the wicked, is sin.

      5The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage,
But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.

      6The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue
Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.

      7The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
Because they refuse to act with justice.

      8The way of a guilty man is crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

      9It is better to live in a corner of a roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

      10The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

      11When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.

      12The righteous one considers the house of the wicked,
Turning the wicked to ruin.

      13He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be answered.

      14A gift in secret subdues anger,
And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.

      15The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous,
But is terror to the workers of iniquity.

      16A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.

      17He who loves pleasure will become a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.

      18The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.

      19It is better to live in a desert land
Than with a contentious and vexing woman.

      20There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man swallows it up.

      21He who pursues righteousness and loyalty
Finds life, righteousness and honor.

      22A wise man scales the city of the mighty
And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

      23He who guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.

      24“Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names,
Who acts with insolent pride.

      25The desire of the sluggard puts him to death,
For his hands refuse to work;

      26All day long he is craving,
While the righteous gives and does not hold back.

      27The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,
How much more when he brings it with evil intent!

      28A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

      29A wicked man displays a bold face,
But as for the upright, he makes his way sure.

      30There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the LORD.

      31The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But victory belongs to the LORD.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

By Our Deeds We Distinguish Ourselves, Whether Righteous or Wicked

It is easy to claim that we serve and obey YHWH or Yeshua, but it is by our deeds rather than our words that we demonstrate to others whether we are wicked or righteous. To claim we follow Yeshua means little if our actions do not reflect obedience to His instructions. As you read through Proverbs 20, I invite you to identify at least one or two verses to walk away with that are particularly meaningful for you to apply and learn from in your life today. Pray humbly for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you which ones are most important for you to take action on to change your behavior and / or attitude and in what specific situations.

Proverbs 20

On Life and Conduct

1Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.

2The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.

3Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man,
But any fool will quarrel.

4The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,
So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.

5A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out.

6Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?

7A righteous man who walks in his integrity—
How blessed are his sons after him.

8A king who sits on the throne of justice
Disperses all evil with his eyes.

9Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?

10Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the LORD.

11It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.

12The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The LORD has made both of them.

13Do not love sleep, or you will become poor;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.

14“Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
But when he goes his way, then he boasts.

15There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.

16Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger;
And for foreigners, hold him in pledge.

17Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

18Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance.

19He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,
Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

20He who curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will go out in time of darkness.

21An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning
Will not be blessed in the end.

22Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

23Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD,
And a false scale is not good.

24Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD,
How then can man understand his way?

25It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!”
And after the vows to make inquiry.

26A wise king winnows the wicked,
And drives the threshing wheel over them.

27The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the innermost parts of his being.

28Loyalty and truth preserve the king,
And he upholds his throne by righteousness.

29The glory of young men is their strength,
And the honor of old men is their gray hair.

30Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the innermost parts.

Each verse reveals deep truth. Be careful and patient as you read so as not to read so quickly that you miss considering how you should apply it in your life. We do well to come back to Proverbs often and read through the whole book over and over, perhaps one chapter every day. It is a wealth of wisdom for how we should relate to one another and how we should approach our own lives.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.