Rev. Jacob Dandy, pastor at Zion Lutheran Church and School in Terra Bella, CA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Proverbs 21:1-31.
The LORD’s rule over all creation is at the heart of this chapter of Proverbs. Even kings, who might think they can do whatever they want, remain under the authority of the one true God. His righteousness and justice, given to us through faith in Christ, direct all wisdom as Christians begin to live in it even now in matters of hard work, family life, and honesty. The foundation of this wisdom remains the LORD Himself. All human understanding cannot avail against Him. His gift to us in Christ propels us to the work that He has given us, knowing that the victory belongs to Him.
“Wisdom and Instruction” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Proverbs. Although Proverbs is perhaps best known for its short sayings full of practical advice, the one true God has so much more in this book of wisdom. True wisdom begins with the fear of the LORD. Christians walk His way of righteousness rather than the way of wickedness because we trust that all good gifts come to us through His Son Jesus Christ, who is His wisdom made flesh for our salvation.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
21 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[a] of the wicked, are sin.
5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.[b]
7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
8 The way of the guilty is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.
9 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.
14 A gift in secret averts anger,
and a concealed bribe,[c] strong wrath.
15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
16 One who wanders from the way of good sense
will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
and the traitor for the upright.
19 It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20 Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling,
but a foolish man devours it.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
24 “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
25 The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
26 All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
28 A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29 A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright gives thought to[d] his ways.
30 No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.
- Proverbs 21:4 Or the plowing
- Proverbs 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
- Proverbs 21:14 Hebrew a bribe in the bosom
- Proverbs 21:29 Or establishes
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.