A human being lives, but he is given life.
New King James Version (NKJV)
1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the hearts.
3 To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4 A haughty look, a proud heart,
And the plowing of the wicked are sin.
5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.
6 Getting treasures by a lying tongue
Isthe fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.
7 The violence of the wicked will destroy them,
Because they refuse to do justice.
8 The way of a guilty man is perverse;
But as for the pure, his work is right.
9 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 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 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 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 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.
Thought of the Day
“Salvation gives spiritual vision to sin-blinded eyes”
In an experiment years ago, researchers fitted people with special prismatic glasses that made things appear upside down, straight lines appear curved, and sharp outlines seem fringed with color. Even though the subjects continued to wear the glasses, within just a few days the unnatural shapes, tinted edges, and inverted landscapes gradually disappeared, and the world began to appear normal again. Their brains had overcome false data coming through the lenses. This adapt-ability in the physical realm is indeed a blessing.
Proverbs suggests, however, that the mind doesn’t function very well in the spiritual realm. In fact, we are sinners whose deepest imaginations are evil, and our thought-life produces a world of illusions. We think of ourselves as pure, when in reality we are guilty before God. That is why, for example, many people shift the responsibility for their behavior to environmental factors or to faulty upbringing. They fail to see their own rebellion and selfishness and imagine themselves to be the helpless, innocent victims of circumstance. In this way, they justify thoughts, feelings, and actions that are obviously sinful. Their way is right in their own eyes.
As Christians, we should be aware of the deceptive nature of our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to correct our vision through a knowledge of God’s Word. —M. R. De Haan II (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Personal Reflection and Discussion