Proverbs 16: 1-17

I’ve marked the couplets about which I have written with an asterisk in the full passage below. If you have time to look at and ponder them all, so much the better

  • All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. Even when we as human beings tell lies we think that we are doing it for good reasons. It’s hard to call lying ‘pure’ but somehow we manage to self justify. And it extends to the person (male or female) who feels justified in mal-treating their partner either physically or verbally. This spills over into business deals, community behaviour etc. But although we may fool ourselves and others God sees the heart of the matter. You can even fool the law courts but you cannot fool God.
  • The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Is God in control of everything? Has the devil been able to spin a few tricks which have thrown God ‘off course’? This suggests that God even has control of the wicked and the evil man with the future under His control. Even when the Jewish powers thought that they were winning in having Jesus crucified, God was in control making the crucifixion a pivotal day in His plan of salvation. As an old hymn said, ‘God is still on the throne, and He will remember His own.’
  • A just balance and scales are the LORD’S; all the weights in the bag are his work. Sadly some think that following God is all about getting to heaven. It is that, but much, much more. Justice and fair play are central to God’s call to His followers.
  • How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. Wisdom is different from knowledge. Wisdom is about knowing how to handle knowledge and situations. You can make gold and silver the goal of your life but this couplet suggests wisdom and understanding is the better choice.

Prayer: Keeping me learning till I die. Not for knowledge’s sake but to obtain wisdom and understanding. Please!

The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
*All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the LORD,
and your plans will be established.
*The LORD has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
be assured, he will not go unpunished.
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
When a man’s ways please the LORD,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness
than great revenues with injustice.
The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.
An oracle is on the lips of a king;
his mouth does not sin in judgment.
*A just balance and scales are the LORD’S;
all the weights in the bag are his work.
It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
for the throne is established by righteousness.
Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
and he loves him who speaks what is right.
A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
and a wise man will appease it.
In the light of a king’s face there is life,
and his favour is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
*How much better to get wisdom than gold!
To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
whoever guards his way preserves his life.

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