Proverbs 19:21-25

In Proverbs 19:21-25 Solomon addresses the foundation of planning.  He makes it clear that we can plan all we want, but in the end, God determines the outcome.  That said, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan. It is in the nature of men, at least some men, to plan and prepare for the future. Some of the plans may be wise and some may be foolish, but there are many plans in a man’s heart. Those should be written down, communicated and worked toward but readily adaptable to God’s direction. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Man makes his plans, and he should. Yet every plan should be made with an appreciation of God’s overall wisdom, work, and will.

Solomon reminds us that one of the most desirable qualities we can have is steadfast love.  Two very important words that define an ongoing and never ending love. It is not that love is the highest or only virtue to be sought. Yet, in many ways, it is the one most desired by others, especially in a modern world where love is fleeting and doesn’t last. “ What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.” To be a man of truth—to not be a liar—is also of great value. This proverb reminds that though we should pursue and value steadfast love, we should not treat it as the only valued virtue among God’s people.  Certainly it is not the only virtue God cares about.

Once again Solomon reminds us that having a fear of God is a good thing.  It leads to life!  Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, it leads to life. If we want life, we should begin with this honor, reverent awe and submission to God. “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.” When we have and walk in the fear of the Lord, it leads to a life of satisfaction. The world, the flesh, and the devil want to convince us that a life founded on fear of the Lord leads to misery, but the opposite is true. It brings satisfaction and keeps us from a future of evil.

He next discusses the sluggard and the scoffer – two qualities that are not something for us to seek. He’s talked about both before. Solomon pictured a lazy man sitting at his food, with his hand buried in his bowl of food. “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.” In this humorous, exaggerated picture, the lazy man has so little energy and initiative that he won’t even bring his hand from the bowl to his mouth. This exaggerated picture establishes a principle made elsewhere in proverbs: the lazy man will go hungry. The scoffer will be disciplined or corrected. “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.” When someone who values wisdom (one who has understanding) is corrected, he learns. He grows in his ability to discern knowledge.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.


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