Proverbs 21

Over August we're going to read through the book of Proverbs. There are 31 days in August and 31 chapters in Proverbs, so we'll be putting them up on Saturdays and Sundays too.

Instead of relying on other reflections on the passages, we want to make space for God to speak to us all in the expectation that we will be transformed into his likeness as we open ourselves to his Spirit and seek to live wise and godly lives.

Open yourself to the Spirit, ask him to highlight a particular verse, phrase or section for you to think about during the day.

Read the chapter slowly. If something jumps out at you or catches your attention stay with that for a while.

Ask yourself, does this make me feel uncomfortable/reassured/challenged?

Ask questions of the Proverb?

Why did the original writer think this was worth writing down?
How does did this apply to people's lives in the past?
How does it apply to my life now?

Ask the Spirit what he may be saying.
Is God calling me to change/repent/see things differently?
How would my life look different if I lived this out?
What steps can I take to make this happen?

Take this Proverb with you throughout the day and see how the wisdom of the ages can transform your life today.

Proverbs 21

21 In the Lord's hand the king's heart is a stream of water
    that he channels towards all who please him.
2 A person may think their own ways are right,
    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 unploughed field of the wicked - produce 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 vapour 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 crave evil;
    their neighbours get no mercy from them.
11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
    by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.
12 The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked
    and brings the wicked to ruin.
13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
    will also 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.
16 Whoever strays from the path of prudence
    comes to rest in the company of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
    whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.
18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
    and the unfaithful for the upright.
19 Better to live in a desert
    than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
    but fools gulp theirs down.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
    finds life, prosperity and honour.
22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
    and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
    keep themselves from calamity.
24 The proud and arrogant person – 'Mocker' is his name -
    behaves with insolent fury.
25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
    because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves for more,
    but the righteous give without sparing.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable -
    how much more so when brought with evil intent!
28 A false witness will perish,
    but a careful listener will testify successfully.
29 The wicked put up a bold front,
    but the upright give thought to their ways.
30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
    that can succeed against the Lord.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but victory rests with the Lord.
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