Today we glean some more wisdom from the book of Proverbs. Here are a few thoughts from Proverbs 21.
Vs.1. The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he turns it wherever he pleases.
God is sovereign and overrules all – even the heart of those in authority.
Vs.2. People may think they are doing what is right, but the LORD examines the heart.
God evaluates our inner world.
Vs.3. The LORD is more pleased when we do what is just and right than when we give him sacrifices.
Obedience is the ultimate pleasure to the Lord not worship. In fact, obedience demonstrates love.
Vs.4. Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.
Even pride in our heart is sin.
Vs.5. Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
Prosperity results from good planning and hard work. Don’t try to take short cuts!
Vs.7. Because the wicked refuse to do what is just, their violence boomerangs and destroys them.
We reap what we sow – for better or worse.
Vs.9. It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a contentious wife in a lovely home.
Good relationships are more valuable than opulent living.
Vs.13. Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.
Give to the poor and needy. Don’t ignore them or you will be ignored in your time of need.
Vs.16. The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead.
Don’t be foolish in how you live. Follow good common sense.
Vs.17. Those who love pleasure become poor; wine and luxury are not the way to riches.
An obsession with pleasure and luxury usually result in poverty. Learn to be frugal with your resources rather than spend them impulsively.
Vs.20. The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
Wisdom results in wealth and luxury because wise people use their resources with prudence rather than spending whatever they earn.
Don’t devour all you have. Here are 4 things you should not devour:
- The tithe – it’s the Lord’s.
- An offering – seed to sow.
- Emergency funds – for the unexpected.
- Savings – investment for the future.
Learn to live on 80% of your income. If you can’t, you either need to generate more income or reduce your expenses.
Vs.23. If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble.
Don’t speak too much. Let your words be few.
Vs.25. The desires of lazy people will be their ruin, for their hands refuse to work. 26 They are always greedy for more, while the godly love to give!
Desire must be accompanied by diligent action. You have to put in hard work to make your dreams a reality.
Vs.30. Human plans, no matter how wise or well advised, cannot stand against the LORD.
Again, planning is good but ultimately God’s purpose prevails.
Vs.31. The horses are prepared for battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.
Preparation is also good but the outcome is from the Lord.