Pathways Through Proverbs
February 21, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 21
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Following Scripture Verses
- The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
- Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
- To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
- An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
- The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
- The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
- The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
- The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
- It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
- The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.
- When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
- The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.
- Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
- A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
- It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
- The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
- He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
- The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
- It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
- There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
- He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
- A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.
- Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
- Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
- The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
- He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
- The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
- A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
- A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.
- There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
- The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.
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Today's verse gives three examples of sinful behavior. The first two deal with a man's selfishness and pride. Solomon first mentions the "high look". This refers to an individual who has that smug look of self-satisfaction on his face. We have all met someone like this; you can tell just by looking at him that he has an arrogance about him. And, if you can't see it on his face, you certainly can hear it in his conversation. He is cocky, and everyone knows it. The second person is similar, but his pride is not so easily discernable to the outside world. He may even appear meek, but in reality his heart is lifted up with pride. Here we need to learn that egotism isn't only an issue when others see it in us; pride is a sin whether others notice it or not. I may not spend my life "tooting my own horn", but if in my own heart and mind I am full of myself I still have a problem. I need to humble myself, both in the sight of man and in the sight of the Lord.
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The final sin is the most interesting. Here Solomon refers to the "plowing of the wicked". I believe that this means that everything that a wicked man does is sinful. Plowing in and of itself does not violate the character or law of God. However, when it is done by a man who has rejected Jesus Christ it is sin, for an unsaved man can do no good thing. Romans 3:12 states,
"There is none that doeth good, no, not one".
Thus, if the unbeliever does not do good, everything he does must be evil. Paul tells us that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23), and since the unbeliever does not operate by faith, every action he takes is unclean before God. This helps us to see the utterly lost condition of those who have not received the Lord as Savior. Without Christ they have absolutely no hope.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery