Monday, August 23, 2010

Proverbs 21:1-15

1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; 

he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

2 All a man's ways seem right to him, 

but the LORD weighs the heart.

3 To do what is right and just 

is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, 

the lamp of the wicked, are sin!

5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit 

as surely as haste leads to poverty.

6 A fortune made by a lying tongue 

is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.

7 The violence of the wicked will drag them away, 

for they refuse to do what is right.

8 The way of the guilty is devious, 

but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

9 Better to live on a corner of the roof 

than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

10 The wicked man craves evil; 

his neighbor gets no mercy from him.

11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom; 

when a wise man is instructed, he gets knowledge.

12 The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked 

and brings the wicked to ruin.

13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, 

he too will cry out and not be answered.

14 A gift given in secret soothes anger, 

and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.

15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous 

but terror to evildoers.

Questions to consider:

  • What themes do you see in these proverbs?
  • What is your response to the law of God in the particular areas of these proverbs? Why?
  • In what area do you need to change?
  • Memorize a proverb!

Possibilities for prayer:

Some of my favorite proverbs are those concerning justice (like verse 15 in this passage). It seems that they give us some insight into God’s heart for justice, which-- for a community that is diligently seeking more and more of God’s vision for justice, particularly for this city--is an important and useful thing! Today, let’s simply pray that God’s vision for justice would be present in our city. Let’s ask God to give us hearts of compassion toward the people in our city, and that we would be “[brought] joy” because justice has been done.