the Lord’s Wisdom – Proverbs, Chapter 21
Pro 21:1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
Pro 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.
Pro 21:3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Pro 21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
Pro 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
Pro 21:6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
Pro 21:7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.
Pro 21:8 The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is upright.
Pro 21:9 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
Pro 21:10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
Pro 21:11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
Pro 21:12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he throws the wicked down to ruin.
Pro 21:13 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.
Pro 21:14 A gift in secret averts anger, and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
Pro 21:15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
Pro 21:16 One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead.
Pro 21:17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
Pro 21:18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright.
Pro 21:19 It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
Pro 21:20 Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.
Pro 21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Pro 21:22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
Pro 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Pro 21:24 “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.
Pro 21:25 The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.
Pro 21:26 All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
Pro 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
Pro 21:28 A false witness will perish, but the word of a man who hears will endure.
Pro 21:29 A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to his ways.
Pro 21:30 No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the LORD.
Pro 21:31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.
Notes on Proverbs, Chapter 21
2) This is why we so need a relationship with the Lord. Man’s heart is not right. God holds the 100% truth about all things.
3) Sacrifice in the old days (burnt offerings) or modern times (money & time) means nothing to God. Seriously. God owns everything on the planet and transcends time. He needs neither. Surely his plan today is for us to use the first fruits of our gifts to bless others and give glory to the name of God. However, we must not be deceived thinking that God will either punish us less or bless us more because of our offerings of time and money to our church and the poor. Our salvation comes solely from the good work of Jesus Christ on the cross – not by the works of our hands.
4) “The lamp of the wicked” – means that by these things they may be identified. If we are the light of the Lord, we shed light on the Lord and reveal a part of him to the observer. Haughty eyes (you know that look proud people have) and a proud heart (reveals itself in the words of the mouth and our actions) shed light on wickedness and sin.
5) Distinction made between diligence and haste – we learned earlier in the series that seeking wise counsel brings more success. We do this through
- The Lord
- Wise brothers and sisters in the Lord
- Research – God gave us all these tools for reasearch – knowledge of mathematics, stores of records, professional societies, and yes the Internet.
I sometimes forget the connection between God and some things on this earth. I heard a cool story about this from a pastor who grew up in a racially-divided community. He was working as a vending machine repairman in a factory of workers that were all of one race – he was of the other. The workers were all watching him repair the machines and were throwing things at him from up on balconies that overlooked the area. Pretty stupid of them, but bigotry usually is ; ) It was his first day on the job and he had no idea of what he was doing. However, he had a strong relationship with the Lord and asked for His help. God helped him fix those machines so fast and he was delivered from a potentially dangerous situation.
9) The women catch a lot of heat in Proverbs, but there are several explanations which shed greater light on the text. What they are speaking of here is not just about the dangers of marital strife, but of an ongoing schism in God’s chain of command in our family.
“Oh no, he’s not going ‘there’ is he?????”
God sets order in everything we do. At work, God gives us a boss. It is trendy for committees to be formed, but they never actually succeed at anything within an amount of time to still be practical. In government, there is a chain of command. Within the church there is assigned leadership (as long as we do not muck it up w/ too many committees).
God has set up the man to be the final decision-maker of the house. He is to draw on all sources. Sometimes the decision will come 100% from the woman’s opinion on a matter – especially if the Lord has given her the most knowledge and insight into the decision. The man’s role though is not of dictator, where the family bows and courtseys in his presence. His role it that of being the one accountable to the Lord for the actions of the family members.
We all want to be boss – it is ingrained in the American culture. This is sometimes good, but usually bad – the “too many chiefs, too few Indians” principle. We always think about the upside of leadership (more money, respect, freedom, etc) but rarely think about the downside (less time to use money, accountability when things go wrong that are ‘out of our control’, perceived freedom is not as ‘freeing’ as we think). My wife says that she had a very difficult time with the verses in the Bible that apply to leadership within the family, as her mother is an extremely proud woman and raised my wife in that way.
However, my wife now loves God’s design for the family. She says she feels free to do what God has called her to do. She does not have to have the burden of worrying about areas she is not gifted in. Trust me, she still gives her opinion on matters – all matters : ) and we weigh all our options (seek counsel from the Lord and the wise), but in the end someone has to make the decision. Hopefully all parties agree, but sometimes they don’t.
At times I do not agree with my wife’s opinion but go with it in faith because the Lord gifts her in areas that I am not strong in. In cases like this, I am making the decision. The accountablility still rests on me though my wife offered 100% of the solution. As husband and head of the house, I do not come back and blame her if her counsel proved not to be wise. I am the guide for our family, so the responsibility rests on me.
Hope this explains what is a particularly contentious verse. Actually the verse isn’t the problem, it is the people who are contentious… : )
12) Sometimes I fall under the deception that the wicked will prosper. In our narrow window of time and space this may appear so, but we never have the whole truth. What is that person like on the inside? A person may be worth several hundred million dollars, but are they prospering if they are slowly dying of drug and alcohol abuse? Are they prospering if they are lonely and separated from the life of Christ? We never have the whole picture. We do not even know what tomorrow brings. We do know that the Lord says that the wicked will not prosper, so we should just move on and both make sure we do not become those people, and also to reach out with the Gospel to bring the light of the Lord into their lives.
13) I am guilty of this far too often. In my town, the highways literally go right over the tops of the houses of the poor. Every day I drive to my nice residence from my nice job while people are suffering below my wheels. Fortunately God has been working with me in this area. Has he been speaking to you, too?
21) Isn’t that what we are all looking for? Sometimes I make life so complex – but God says it is quite simple.
22) This verse also applies to the strongholds in our lives that keep us from a more full relationship with the Lord.
25) I ran into this one when conducting this study. I am in the midst of several projects and did not realize exactly how much time this takes in relation to my time available. I actually consdidered paring down the material part-way through the series. Blog posts should be shorter, and it is best to have some material prepared ahead of time, instead of each day. Life is not always predictable, and the work of God should not suffer due to the weakness of man (although it will, and God is patient about that to a degree)
There is no way I could let this series “slide”. I committed both to the Lord and to you to do the series as promised. It forced me to rearrange my priorities. I made this series the first priority of my time. Sure, I have slipped now and then, but God is just to forgive us if we repent.
“The result?” We’re not done yet, but God has lifted me out of the “spiritual funk” I have been in as of late. I was facing pressures from my business and lacking some direction. I suppose those forces are still there, but God has helped me prioritize my values. God first – then the rest of life.
The “Bio” of our Lord – John, Chapter 21
Joh 21:1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way.
Joh 21:2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.
Joh 21:3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Joh 21:4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
Joh 21:5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.”
Joh 21:6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.
Joh 21:7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.
Joh 21:8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
Joh 21:9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.
Joh 21:10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”
Joh 21:11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.
Joh 21:12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
Joh 21:13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.
Joh 21:14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Joh 21:15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
Joh 21:16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
Joh 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Joh 21:18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
Joh 21:19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
Joh 21:20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”
Joh 21:21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”
Joh 21:22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
Joh 21:23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
Joh 21:24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
Joh 21:25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.