1 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels toward all who please him.
2 A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
3 To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.
5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.
6 A fortune made by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.
7 The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
for they refuse to do what is right.
8 The way of the guilty is devious,
but the conduct of the innocent is upright.
9 Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
10 The wicked crave evil;
their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.
12 The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked
and brings the wicked to ruin.
13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
will also cry out and not be answered.
14 A gift given in secret soothes anger,
and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.
15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
16 Whoever strays from the path of prudence
comes to rest in the company of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.
18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
and the unfaithful for the upright.
19 Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
but fools gulp theirs down.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity and honor.
22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
keep themselves from calamity.
24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—
behaves with insolent fury.
25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves for more,
but the righteous give without sparing.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—
how much more so when brought with evil intent!
28 A false witness will perish,
but a careful listener will testify successfully.
29 The wicked put up a bold front,
but the upright give thought to their ways.
30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the Lord.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the Lord.
1. Verse 2 says- A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. What is this verse telling us?
2. Verse 8 reminds us- The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright. Devious means- willing to lie or trick people to get what is wanted. Look at the outcomes of both your actions and the actions of those around you so see true character. Do you need to make some changes today?
3. Two verses in Chapter 21 relate to marriage- Verse 9: Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Verse 19: Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. The finger seems to point at the wife in this case, but we all know that the wife can’t take all the blame for causing all the quarrels. The bottom line is that fighting makes a relationship miserable. What changes do you need to make in your relationship today? How can you improve marriage that is highlighted with fighting?
4. Verse 21 give us good plan- Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. We should actively seek after ______________________ and ________________. This wisdom seems so obvious; however, our culture seems to mesh with evil and hatred more often than we care to admit. Are you seeking righteousness and love in relationships at home, at work or in your social environment? How can you improve?