In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him. A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart—the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin. The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare. The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right. The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright. Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. The wicked crave evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them. When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom; by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge. The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin. Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered. A gift given in secret soothes anger, and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath. When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. Whoever strays from the path of prudence comes to rest in the company of the dead. Whoever loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich. The wicked become a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright. Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down. Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty and pull down the stronghold in which they trust. Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—behaves with insolent fury. The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing. The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—how much more so when brought with evil intent! A false witness will perish, but a careful listener will testify successfully. The wicked put up a bold front, but the upright give thought to their ways. There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord. Vs 1-31
Giving up something we enjoy, as a sacrifice to show God we love Him, isn’t what He desires of us. I think He would rather we put the energy into seeking His wisdom so we have the knowledge and understanding to make choices that are pleasing to Him.
Those who think twice before they speak keep themselves from disastrous situations. Before meeting with someone or when encountered with harsh words, take a brief moment (at the very least) and call upon the Holy Spirit for the words to respond. This invites the Holy Spirit to take the lead. This will help us have words that encourage and not tear down, which are more likely to cause the recipient to have a cheerful heart.
Verse 9 and 19 has me completely stumped! It says it’s better to live on the corner of a roof or in the desert than with a wife who is quarrelsome and ill-tempered. Is this to be taken literally? Meaning it’s a bummer for the husband who is trying to lead his family in a way that’s pleasing to God and has a wife who doesn’t choose to follow God? I think it could be a bummer for the wife too, having a husband who doesn’t follow the Lord when she does. Or maybe it’s advice for those who are searching for a spouse and do follow God? Advice that it’s better to remain alone, than take a spouse who doesn’t agree with your beliefs. It’s a warning of the quarreling that will happen.
When trials come our way, and they will, we are fully equipped to get through them. God is always preparing us, through people and circumstances for the trials ahead. It’s up to us to listen and pay attention to receive these teachings. When we do conquer the troubles and sins that come against us, we are to give God all the glory and praise. We are to acknowledge that it was through the power of God almighty that we made it through. It was not in our own strength or the strength of others that we became victorious. What recent victory do you need to acknowledge God for?
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for offering us the power to conquer our sin and not suffer the consequence of death. I pray we would praise your name openly for all to see and hear, Amen.