Proverbs 21: 1-4….Solomon packs some punches

1. The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will.
2. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the heart.
3. To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4. Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lamp of the wicked, are sin.

Comment: I will make a comment on each of these.

  1. No one every knows exactly what is in another’s mind when they write something although the best writer most clearly gets across what he means – sometimes it is in poetry, or sarcasm or hyperbole which need to be seen through and correctly understood. I wonder if Solomon was talking about the ‘Sovereignty of God’? Here I see that whether he meant it or not he raises the issue. The phrase ‘stream of water’ written to a community where water is in short supply, but ‘life giving’, must have meant that kings have great power under God. But who is the ‘he’ who turns it to flow where they want it to flow? This proverb, like most of them, causes us to think. It is true that a king has power and responsibility. It also reminds me that God is in charge of history, He is sovereign, even though at times we don’t understand why He does it in a given way.
  2. We can only judge by what we see, but God sees through skin, flesh and bone – even more accurately than an MRI or CAT scan!
  3. Since God has given all the instructions for sacrifices, how come Solomon writes this? If we read the Bible accurately we can soon see that, as sin is universal, sacrifices were necessary leading up to the perfect offering of Jesus; but God prefers that we walk in justice and righteousness. And that still is what He desires of His people!
  4. This is a such an evocative use of words. Pride and haughtiness even in my looks open the gateway into my inner being – for sin to enter! Let me not open my eyes with pride or haughtiness!

Prayer: Thank you for those punches, Solomon. I see them as having been delivered on God’s behalf. Help me, O God to learn the intended lessons.

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