Thursday, July 28, 2022
God Examines Our Motives
21 Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God;
he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.
2 We justify our actions by appearances;
God examines our motives.
3 Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors
mean far more to God than religious performance.
4 Arrogance and pride—distinguishing marks in the wicked—
are just plain sin.
5 Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run;
hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
-Proverbs 21:1-5 The Message
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 of the wicked, are sin.
5 The diligent’s plans indeed lead to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
-Proverbs 21:1-5 ESV
Verse 1 study: In the days of Solomon, kings possessed absolute authority and were like gods. This proverb shows that earthly rulers do not have the authority over world politics. They may not realize it, but the earth’s powerful king has always been under God’s control.
Judgment on Arrogant Assyria 5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! 6 Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7 But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few; 8 for he says: “Are not my commanders all kings? -Isaiah 10:5-8 ESV
Who is a king that doesn’t have control over world politics but his own interests and not God’s will? Solomon received a special endowment of the wisdom of God.
Verse 2 study: People will find excuses behind everything they do. God looks behind those excuses to the motives of the heart. We have to make choices in areas where the right action is difficult to do. We can help ourselves by asking and identifying our motives first. Ask yourself whether God would approve of my motives for doing this. God will not be pleased by us doing good deeds for something in return.
Verse 3 study: What we do with our sacrifices and offerings are not bribes to make God overlook our character faults. If our personal and business affairs aren’t characterized by justice, no generosity in this world can make up for it.
Verse 4 study: Haughty eyes usually express pride and arrogance. The lamp of the wicked is a metaphor for uncertainty.
Verse 5 study: Faithful completion of tasks is always a great accomplishment. The work you do is patiently carried out and follows the plan. Strong characters are those who are diligent at their work. Don’t be the one to look for easy answers. Poverty is brought on by laziness. It can be from rash and unwise actions. Be diligent in serving God.