Archive for the ‘Proverbs 21’ Category

This proverb refers to preparing for battle. All our preparation for any task is useless without God. But even with God’s help we still must do our part and prepare. His control of the outcome does not negate our responsibilities. God may want you to produce a great book, but you must learn to write. God may want to use you in foreign missions, but you must learn the language. God will accomplish his purposes, and he will be able to use you if you have done your part by being well prepared.

Compared to the Lord’s wisdom, we have no wisdom. We have no power at all when vented against God. God is the Creator, and we are His created. The Creator is always far superior to His creation in every way. We see this most clearly when we read Job. Beginning in chapter 38 where God is speaking to Job when He asks “where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” And the conversation ends in chapter 41:34. A reading of these 3 chapters tells us we have very little understanding at all (this is what Job admits in 42:1-6).  

This hardened face means you cannot change his opinion. He is not teachable. The Lord directed the way of the upright because the upright is doing it God’s way. He is not so self-willed that you cannot tell him anything. The wicked become obstinate, maintaining what suits them without regard for others or the truth, while good people proceed with integrity 

To me this is saying that when the false witness is found out, no one will listen to him any longer. We see in this “man that listens” (someone who understands), can speak many times and people will listen, because they know it is the truth.

In Proverbs 5:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight

We found that external acts of worship, though according to biblical prescription, are repulsive to God when the heart of the worshiper is wicked.

 We found this to be true in the very first mention in the Bible of Cain and Abel. Cain’s gift was unacceptable unto God. The worst thing of all was that he gave it knowing it was unacceptable. He wanted the easy way out. He gave earthly gifts rather than the offering God required. His gifts were earthly, not heavenly. 

This is also why Churches should not accept criminal or ill-gotten money.

Talking about every little irritation or piece of gossip only keeps the fires of anger going.  Refusing to discuss them cuts the fuel line and makes the fires die out.  Does someone continually irritate you?  Decide not to complain about the person and see if your irritation dies from lack of fuel. 

This is just saying, stop adding fuel to the fire and the fire will die down. A rumor cannot damage anyone until it is told, Gossip is like the wood. It causes widespread damage. To stop the damage, stop the gossip. This continues in the next verse.

We see there, a situation where the coals of gossip have just about gone out, but a contentious man who loves trouble will go in there and rekindle the mess all over again. To make coals re-ignite you blow on them and add a little kindling (gossip), to the fire. This makes an even hotter fire than you had in the first place. This evil man wants to keep the quarrel going so he stirs it up a little and gets it going full blast again.

This is a continuation of verse 25. In contrast to the evil, lazy person who has nothing and wants everything is the righteous who works hard and gives away a great deal of what he earns.

 The sin of covetousness marks the lazy man as the virtue of benevolence marks the righteous.

We see in this verse, someone who will not work but wants everything he sees. First, he has too much idle time because he refuses to work. A person who does not stay busy has time to get into a lot of trouble. Idle time and desires for things you cannot acquire lead to crime, and crime leads to punishment and sometimes death. 

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 21:12 The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin.

Good men always win in the end. Though it appears they are losing at times, they know better, and Almighty God is on their side. The wicked assume they are in control, but the Judge of all is committed to destroy them. These are the certain rules of life and eternity.

Due to compromise of truth in these perilous times of the last days (II Tim 4:3-4), this common theme of the Bible is nearly unknown (Ps 9:16-17; 37:34-40; Pr 10:6,24-25,27-30; 11:3-9,18-21; 12:2,7,21; 13:6,9,21-22; 14:11,19,32; 15:8-9,29; 21:18,21; 28:18).

Can you see the future? Wisdom gives that ability. Do you have wisdom? You should see that many of those who are popular and prosperous now will soon be wiped out. Which ones will be destroyed? God will judge those who openly and proudly live wicked lives. Wisdom includes the discernment and understanding to see God’s soon reckoning.

Moses wrote about those who sin against the LORD, “Be sure your sin will find you out,” (Num 32:23). Wise men know this axiom of God’s universe. The more public and profane a sinner, no matter how secure at the time, the more likely his soon demise (Job 20:4-29). Learn to look past the glitter and glib of famous sinners to see their early ruin.

Righteous men live disciplined lives, denying lusts that others obey daily. It may shake their faith and resolve to see the wicked prospering in wickedness (Ps 73:1-15), but they quickly recover by recalling God’s holy justice and vengeance against sinners (Ps 73:16-28). They know God is not mocked – a violent reversal of fortune is coming (Gal 6:7).

The world adores profane and profligate sinners, especially celebrities in entertainment, athletics, or politics. They have household names; their every word and move are closely followed; their pictures are everywhere; they are referred to as stars; they get huge financial contracts; they are welcome anywhere at anytime. To their fans and sycophants, they seem invincibly happy and successful. But God is burning (Na 1:2,5-6; Heb 12:29)!

Consider a few. How great is Alexander, his family, or Greece now (Dan 8:8; 11:1-4)? Where are the Pharaohs? Why is Egypt a base nation (Ezek 29:14)? The once beautiful and powerful cities and kingdoms of Babylon and Tyre are ruins compared to what they were when living wickedly. They had a reversal of fortune (Is 47:1-15; Ezek 28:1-26)! Can you find the Hittites, Amorites, Ammonites, Philistines, Moabites, or Edomites?

Consider a few more. By Bible definitions of wickedness, which are strange and extreme to even religious people in this ignorant generation, can you recall these lives without sentimentality corrupting the view? What about Elvis, the Babe, Marilyn, John Lennon, Lenin, Errol, Jimi, James Dean, Jim Morrison, MLK, Princess Diana, JFK, Al Capone, Eva Braun, MJ, Bonnie and Clyde, Keith Moon, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, etc.?

Do you know the average life expectancy of rappers is around 27 and that of rockers not many years more? God is not mocked. They cannot live the public lives of excess they do and get away with it. God is on His throne laughing at them (Pr 1:24-31; Ps 2:4-5; 37:9-15). Righteous men learn to consider such persons wisely and foresee their bitter end.

The humble righteous, the children and friends of God, know divine fury is held back by God’s longsuffering (Ps 50:21-22; Rom 9:21-24). They know He holds back judgment for the wicked to commit greater sins and earn greater judgment (Gen 15:16; Dan 9:24; Matt 23:29-36). The longer He waits, the hotter the fire of His holy and jealous wrath.

If you do not know this dreadful and terrible God, you need to start reading the Bible (Deut 29:20; 32:21-25; Ps 21:9; 76:7; 137:7-9; Is 66:15-16; Jer 10:10; II Cor 5:9-11; Heb 10:26-31). If you read the Bible but did not know this, then you need a new preacher (Is 30:8-14; Jer 1:9-10; 23:25-32; Mal 2:7; Matt 21:40-46; 22:1-14; II Tim 4:3-4).

What is the lesson? Wise men learn God’s horrible fury is coming on the wicked, so there is no cause or reason to envy them (Ps 37:1,7; Pr 3:31; 24:1,19). They consider the great reversal of fortune that is coming in this world and the next. They know it is better to be the beggar Lazarus than the rich man living luxuriously (Luk 16:19-26). Do you know it?

Why is there a disjunctive connecting the two clauses of this proverb? The righteous man shows his wisdom by not being moved by the short-term prosperity and success of the wicked. Though he looks happy and secure now, God is just about to throw him down. The “but” indicates that God’s overthrow of the wicked is contrary to all appearances.

The life of the righteous is win-win. God blesses them in this world, and then He gives them eternal life in the next world. The blatantly wicked are chased by numerous evils in this life, and then they are cast into the lake of fire for eternity. Even if the righteous sacrifice things now, God rewards them 100-fold more with those things (Mk 10:28-30).

Do not envy the wicked. Do not live like them. Never be a hypocrite by trusting this proverb while living sinfully yourself. Look past the world’s flattering lies. Reject rosy tales of popularity and wealth. See a holy and jealous God coming in vengeance on those who defy Him. Believe it is coming; pray for it; rejoice in it (Ps 58:6-11; Ex 15:1-21).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 13:21 Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous

Something is chasing you! Trouble chases sinners until it catches them and brings pain and misery into their lives. Blessing chases righteous men until it catches them and brings good, promotion, and rewards. Look over your shoulder! Something is chasing you right now! Which is it – evil or good? Whichever it is, it will catch you for sure.

Actions have consequences. Sin will eventually bring evil – grief, loss, pain, and trouble. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23)! “The way of transgressors is hard” (Pr 13:15)! “Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward” (Pr 22:5)! A course of sin will bring judgment, and it will follow your every move until it catches and punishes you.

Actions have consequences. Obedience will bring blessing – favor, prosperity, pleasure, and reward. “He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good” (I Pet 3:10-12). Doing what is right will bring good into your life (Job 36:11; Ps 19:11; Jas 1:25).

Constant sinners are fools. They think they can get away with sin (Ps 36:1-2). But a holy God in heaven is not watching from a distance. His angels are watching you read these words (Pr 15:3). He sends them to chase and persecute sinners (Ps 35:5-6). He rewards fools and transgressors (Pr 26:10). He plentifully rewards a proud doer (Ps 31:23; 32:10).

Lot watched too much Sodom television, but evil caught him, destroyed all he had, and left him with two incestuous daughters in a cave. Many Corinthians carnally partook of communion, but they were weak, sick, and died for it. Judas wanted to make some quick cash, but evil dashed his bowels across the ground. Evil pursued them and caught them.

If you repeatedly offend God, evil will chase and destroy you. To the froward, or disobedient, God will be froward, or contrary (Ps 18:26). This universal law is as sure as gravity. Joab sought safety at God’s altar, but the sword of justice caught him there (I Kgs 2:28-34). Jonah thought Tarshish would be safe, but a storm and a whale chased and caught him. Where are you cheating God? You can run, but you cannot hide. Repent!

Where do you regularly sin? If you neglect training your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they will destroy your life (Pr 29:15). If you neglect your spouse, God will not hear your prayers (I Pet 3:7). If you toy with pornography or sexual lusts, you will end up in death and hell (Pr 2:18; 5:5; 7:27; 9:18). Does God not see? His angels listen to your words; they check hair and submission of women (Eccl 5:6; I Cor 11:10). He may deceive you with false peace, but He is about to tear you in pieces (Ps 50:21-22).

If you seek the Lord with a committed heart, goodness will follow and bless you. Guaranteed! To the merciful and upright, God will be merciful and upright (Ps 18:25). But He laughs at lip service or church attendance. He looks for a dedicated heart and mind that are committed to holiness and righteousness (Ps 37:4; 145:19; Matt 6:33). Do not faint or be discouraged, there is a reward for the righteous (Ps 58:1-11; I Cor 15:58).

No man can live a perfect righteous life (I Jn 1:8,10), but you may generally do so, and you may cover sins by confession and God’s faithful forgiveness (I Jn 1:9). You can start over as often as you need with a clean slate in the sight of God, and while walking with God the blood of His Son Jesus will cleanse you from all sin (I Jn 1:7). No matter how terrible your sins, you can start over with God. Consider Mannaseh and Mary Magdalene.

David was one of God’s favorites, blessed abundantly in many ways, for who loved God more than him? He knew God had rewarded his righteousness (Ps 18:19-26; 7:3-9; 17:2-4; 26:1; 37:23). Though he sinned in several ways, God forgave him and blessed him still. Do not be fearful or hopeless because of your sins. Confess and forsake them, for He will abundantly pardon and restore (Is 55:6-9; 58:1-14; II Chr 33:12-13; Job 36:6-12).

You are choosing this very moment what will chase and catch you (Pr 24:20; Is 3:10-11). What should you do? Repent for any sins! “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” (Ps 37:3). Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. If you play with the flesh and sin, evil will destroy you (Gal 6:7-10). If you seek the Lord with a careful heart, He will look to bless you greatly (II Chr 16:9)!

Jesus of Nazareth loved and did righteousness. God anointed Him with the oil of gladness above all men (Heb 1:9). He endured the cross and despised its shame, for He saw the eternal joys and pleasures at God’s right hand (Ps 16:11; Heb 12:2). You are to consider Jesus and the saints who obtained the promises by faithful obedience (Heb 11:6; 12:1-3).