Proverbs Challenge – Chapter 21

The Lord Considers the Heart

21 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the [a]rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.

To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

A haughty look, a proud heart,
And the [b]plowing of the wicked are sin.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

Getting treasures by a lying tongue
[c]Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.

The violence of the wicked will [d]destroy them,
Because they refuse to do justice.

The way of [e]a guilty man is perverse;
But as for the pure, his work is right.

Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

11 When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.

12 The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked,
Overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness.

13 Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be heard.

14 A gift in secret pacifies anger,
And a bribe [f]behind the back, strong wrath.

15 It is a joy for the just to do justice,
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.

16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.

17 He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous,
And the unfaithful for the upright.

19 Better to dwell [g]in the wilderness,
Than with a contentious and angry woman.

20 There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it.

21 He who follows righteousness and mercy
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.

22 A wise man [h]scales the city of the mighty,
And brings down the trusted stronghold.

23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.

24 A proud and haughty man—“Scoffer” is his name;
He acts with arrogant pride.

25 The desire of the lazy man kills him,
For his hands refuse to labor.
26 He covets greedily all day long,
But the righteous gives and does not spare.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
How much more when he brings it with wicked intent!

28 A false witness shall perish,
But the man who hears him will speak endlessly.

29 A wicked man hardens his face,
But as for the upright, he [i]establishes his way.

30 There is no wisdom or understanding
Or counsel against the Lord.

31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 21:1 channels
  2. Proverbs 21:4 Or lamp
  3. Proverbs 21:6 LXX Pursue vanity on the snares of death; Vg. Is vain and foolish, and shall stumble on the snares of death; Tg. They shall be destroyed, and they shall fall who seek death
  4. Proverbs 21:7 Lit. drag them away
  5. Proverbs 21:8 Or The way of a man is perverse and strange;
  6. Proverbs 21:14 Under cover, lit. in the bosom
  7. Proverbs 21:19 Lit. in the land of the desert
  8. Proverbs 21:22 Climbs over the walls of
  9. Proverbs 21:29 Qr., LXX understands

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Odogun Oluwaseun Morrison

    In chapter 21 one would get to understand that It is not worth it to pursue money, wealth, and the world’s treasures by cheating, stealing, and conning. Much of the way people gain wealth in the world today is not honestly but by oppression, exploitation, deception, and through blackmail or favoritism. This lifestyle is evidence of a person who is on the fast track to hell because he loves himself and money more than his own soul or the welfare of others

  2. Imion Angela Ofure

    Lessons learnt:
    • God holds and guides the human heart. If God can do this with someone as powerful and noble as a king, He can do this with any man or woman He chooses.
    • By nature, we justify ourselves. Sometimes we do this in sincerity, sometimes with deception, but stubborn pride makes us generally think every way of a man is right in his own eyes.
    • The way we treat people is very important to God. He wants us to be righteous and just in this world.
    • When good we plan and we are diligent there will be a harvest of plenty.

  3. ADEOSUN OLUGBEMI OLAGOKE

    Proverb 21
    Opens with each mans heart in God hands and He put it anywhere .it moves on with the mind or heart with which we do things is check by God.It went to say that God like us to have integrity and uprightness of heart than anything else.proud look and hearts and plowing of wicked are sin. A hard-working person brings increase but anyone in rush to get riches get to be poorer. Wrong of a bad person will destroy them, since they will not do right thing. Righteous man work is pure. Bad peoples heart tends toward evil. When one does not gives the poor when they plead for help God will not hear one when he needs help . Backsliding will lead to spiritual death. Too much luxury brings about poverty. Guiding ones mouth keeps ones from troubles.

  4. Odedairo Oladele Omotayo

    Proverb Chapter 21 verses can be analyzed as follows :
    1. God’s control of kings
    2. God’s understanding of man
    3. Charity
    4. Haughtiness
    5. Diligence/undue haste
    6. Unjust gains
    7. The wicked
    8. The righteous may suffer
    9. A contentious wife
    10. The wicked
    11. The fool/wise one
    12. The righteous one helps the wicked
    13. Ignoring the needy
    14. Private gifts (bribes?)
    15. Justice
    16. Straying from the proper path
    17. Hedonism
    18. The wicked and righteous
    19. A contentious wife
    20. The wise/foolish and wealth
    21. The reward of the righteous
    22. The power of the wise man
    23. Guarding one’s mouth
    24. The haughty
    25-26. Laziness; The righteous
    27. An offering of a wicked man
    28. Witnesses
    29. The wicked/upright
    30. God’s omnipotence
    31. God’s control of events

    Proverb chapter 12 begins by stating that the king’s heart is like a stream that God turns where he will, to provide refreshment to whomever God wishes.God judges all hearts, regardless of what people think about themselves, and he prefers righteousness even above sacrifice.Again, the author goes off on his favorite subjects: don’t be prideful, do be diligent and hard-working, don’t be a greedy liar, the wicked will be destroyed, contentious wives are bad, don’t be a scoffer, give to poor, bribes are helpful, etc., etc.Proverbs attacks pleasure-seeking: being a fan of wine and oil doesn’t lead to success.

    Brains are better than brawn: one proverb states that a single wise man is able to bring down a whole stronghold.

    The chapter ends by reminding the reader that no human wisdom or understanding can outwit God, and that, prepare as humans may for any sort of battle or undertaking, victory lies in God’s hand.

  5. Adefuwa Adedokunola E.

    People are prone to rationalize sin, to self-justify, and to fail to see the reality of their sin before God. There is a way that seems right to a man, but, because it is sinful, it leads to death. The deceptive heart that man is born with needs to be reborn in Christ. God sees the true state of all hearts, and only those which are cleansed with Christ’s blood will be clean and pure and able to enter heaven. (see also Proverbs 14:12, 16:25) Anybody can perform empty religious rituals and ceremonies, but God is interested in the state of the heart. He wants those who obey Him by faith and who lead lives devoted to righteousness and justice. Empty religion never saved anybody, but those who obey the commands of God demonstrate that they have hearts that have been reborn in Christ. King Saul disobeyed God by taking lambs as part of the spoil from the battle, and he tried to satisfy God by sacrificing them. But God wanted obedience rather than sacrifice and to listen to Him more than burnt offerings (1 Samuel 15:22). Obedience to God’s commands is how we prove our love for Him, not by vain rituals devoid of submission to God in the heart (John 14:15).

  6. Akinsehinwa Queen

    This chapter is also telling us what was read in chapter 20. Let us do what is right in sight of God. Taking what is not yours does not make you something, it can only destroy you.
    Give when now one is seeing you. You dont have to broadcast that you gave sonwt6to someone because what you have was given to you by God so is expected of you to give freely.
    Walking in the path of righteousness and walking uprightly will bring us good tidings from God.

  7. Akinsehinwa Queen

    Some people just want to make it in life by all means, they can do anything just to be rich but the only way to this is by obeying Gods instructions, be humble, fear the lord not by eating from other people sweat.
    Believe me or not some people are meant to serve, while some are to rule because of their riches but God knows it all so it is now left to us to choose the righteous way.
    The fear of God that was planted in us and the way we were brought up is what that is still keeping us till now. We should also do same for generations after us so they will still remain in that path.
    The way some rich people treats the poor somwy6is heart breaking forgetting is not permanent but guess what the Bible say they shall come to want.
    The cry and plead of the poor is heard by God so do to others what you want then to do to you.

  8. Gbadebo Toluwalope

    Proverbs 21
    This chapter tells us God sees our heart and knows everything we do it also states that victory is of the Lord, a good Christian must always trust in his God because he is ever ready to fight for if only we obey and keep his commands. Again it talks about being kind to the poor and about the tongue as a powerful tool

  9. Gbadebo Toluwalope

    Proverbs 22
    This chapter is also telling us about chapter 21, about how God looks into our heart and sees our sincerity, how we act towards other people and care for them actually determines a lot in our lives, we need to be careful of our thoughts and ways.
    The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom and helps us to serve him better

  10. Imion immaculate osereme

    The believer, perceiving that the Lord rules every heart as he sees fit, like the husbandman who turns the water through his grounds as he pleases, seeks to have his own heart, and the hearts of others, directed in his faith, fear, and love.
    We are partial in judging ourselves and our actions.
    Many deceive themselves with a conceit that outward devotions will excuse unrighteousness.
    Sin is the pride, the ambition, the glory, the joy, and the business of wicked men.
    The really diligent employ foresight as well as labour.
    While men seek wealth by unlawful practices, they seek death.
    Injustice will return upon the sinner, and will destroy him here and for ever.
    The way of mankind by nature is froward and strange.
    It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed.
    The evil desires of a wicked man’s heart, lead to baseness in his conduct.

  11. Akinbobola Esther

    God control the affairs of the world to accomplish his Purpose
    Sacrifice is to law,let learn to do right with fellow man and be just towards others
    Verse 9, living in peace with others is the best
    Our hearts must be far from evil so that our neighbors will find Favor inus
    Verse 13,we should learn to assist the poor when in needs so that we can find Favor where we in needs
    Verse 31,No matter how we prepare for battle let us always remember God owns the Victory because battle is for God

  12. Gbadebo omotolani Esther

    This chapter tells us about what we do it the world things that are sinful and unholy we going after things that aren’t clean that may even lead us astray
    Once we accept God and allow him to guide us we will be a victory in the end

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