Proverbs 21

Proverbs 21 has Solomon continuing to hand out his wisdom.  He reminds us that God is watching and judging.  “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart….Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor”.  We look in the mirror and think we are doing well.  But God doesn’t look at the surface, no matter how good we make it look.  God sees into our heart.  He understands our motives.  He knows what we are doing – whether pursuing righteousness or selfishness – and will hold us to account for those actions.

He gives a bit more wisdom around planning.  “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty”.  Scripture is pretty clear that there is a good reason to plan.  It is the way we succeed and create abundance.  It needs to be part of how we live and how we lead.  But planning alone does not guarantee success.  We need to plan in alignment with God’s plan and His stated laws.  He gives us the success.  We won’t win if we aren’t in alignment with Him.  “No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord”.

Solomon gives some reality to a marriage relationship.  “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife….It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman”.  Relationships matter, and nowhere do they matter more than in the home.  We need to work hard to have harmonious relationships with our spouse.  While the scripture calls out a quarrelsome wife, it takes two to quarrel and prevention also takes two.  We have to focus on and really work hard to live together well.

He ends with some wisdom around the power of people in our lives.  The guidance is the need to surround ourselves with wise counsel.  Who we hang around matters and matters much.  “One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead….No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord”.  Bad counsel can lead us astray but it won’t ever win against God’s laws or ways.  So we need to be careful about what we listen to and allow to provide input into our lives.  Bad information can be fatal!

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