I worship You, O Lord, for making me a part of Your great
Read Proverbs 19:1–29
Better the poor whose walk is blameless
than a fool whose lips are perverse.
2 Desire without knowledge is not good—
how much more will hasty feet miss the way!
3 A person’s own folly leads to their ruin,
yet their heart rages against the Lord.
4 Wealth attracts many friends,
but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will not go free.
6 Many curry favor with a ruler,
and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.
7 The poor are shunned by all their relatives—
how much more do their friends avoid them!
Though the poor pursue them with pleading,
they are nowhere to be found.[a]
8 The one who gets wisdom loves life;
the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will perish.
10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury—
how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!
11 A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin,
and a quarrelsome wife is like
the constant dripping of a leaky roof.
14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
15 Laziness brings on deep sleep,
and the shiftless go hungry.
16 Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life,
but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.
17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will reward them for what they have done.
18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
do not be a willing party to their death.
19 A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
rescue them, and you will have to do it again.
20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
22 What a person desires is unfailing love[b];
better to be poor than a liar.
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
24 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he will not even bring it back to his mouth!
25 Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence;
rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.
26 Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother
is a child who brings shame and disgrace.
27 Stop listening to instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28 A corrupt witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.
29 Penalties are prepared for mockers,
and beatings for the backs of fools.
a Proverbs 19:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
b Proverbs 19:22 Or Greed is a person’s shame
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAccording to what you know of Proverbs, would you be considered wise?
The wisdom of Proverbs is not reserved for a chosen few but accessible to all, if we want it. Whether by common sense or from “commandments” (16), all wisdom comes from God. He’s fixed it in the world as a standard. Our wise choices cooperate with him to bring shalom – heaven’s culture of peace and well-being – to our relationships and communities. This is reflected in healthy marriages and families (14, 17, 18) and concern for justice for the powerless (4, 5). Prosperity is not a reward for good behavior but the rich overflow of drawing close to God (8, 21). How are you cultivating this (11, 20, 23, 25b)?
Proverbs unflinchingly shows the consequences of not choosing to live wisely (1–3, 9, 15, 27). Even though we are God’s children freed from sin (Romans 6:5–7), we must add virtuous habits in order to produce spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22, 23). We’ve all met Christians who mock and quarrel, are quick to take offense, deceive themselves and others, pursue superficial self-gain, and who blame God and others for the bad outcomes of their own bad decisions. Often, we’ve been like that ourselves! Left unchallenged, the lack of higher purpose behind these habits will deny us our destiny as shalom-bringers to our world.
How might you need to “rebuke” yourself to prove “discerning” (25)? You can do it; you’re no longer a slave to sin.
Spirit of God, convict my heart today and show me how I can truly walk in Your paths of wisdom.
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