Pathways Through Proverbs
December 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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There are two principles that stand out in today's proverb. First of all, we see the relationship between thought and actions. Both the diligent man and the hasty man are thinking. Their activities are a direct result of these thoughts. The diligent man carefully thinks through what he wants to do and how best to accomplish it. He realizes that rash choices often backfire, and because of this, he moves slowly and deliberately, and does not rush into any decisions. The hasty man does not think this way. He is consumed with getting what he wants as quickly as possible. He assumes that his first idea is the best idea, and thus he acts quickly, and often irresponsibly. Remember, how you think will determine how you act.
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Second, we see that when a man does take the time to plan ahead and think through his options, the end result normally is prosperity. It is wise to be cautious before making a decision. You need to make sure that you understand all the circumstances and the options available. You need to "count the cost". You need to decide whether or not you are willing to put forth the effort necessary to bring your plan to fruition. Once you have carefully reasoned your way through these issues, and, of course, sought and understood the Lord's will, then your actions will benefit you and others. In contrast to this, the man who can only see what he desires, and jumps headfirst into his decision without praying about it and thinking it over, will normally make a choice that he eventually regrets.
An old, non-Biblical expression goes like this: "act in haste, repent in leisure." This is the principle that Solomon is conveying. Act quickly and without thinking, and you will have plenty of time to think about the mistake you made. Take the time now to make the proper choice, and you can spend your future enjoying your blessings.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery