Monday, August 1, 2022
25 Lazy people finally die of hunger
because they won’t get up and go to work.
26 Sinners are always wanting what they don’t have;
the God-loyal are always giving what they do have.
27 Religious performance by the wicked stinks;
it’s even worse when they use it to get ahead.
28 A lying witness is unconvincing;
a person who speaks the truth is respected.
29 Unscrupulous people fake it a lot;
honest people are sure of their steps.
30 Nothing clever, conceived, contrived,
can get the better of God.
31 Do your best, prepare for the worst—
then trust God to bring victory.
-Proverbs 21:25-31 The Message
25 The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
26 All day long, he 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 his ways.
30 No wisdom, understanding, or 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 21:25-31 ESV
Verse 25 study: Desire does not connect him because the work that can be done can bring rewards.
Verse 26 study: Theologists believe this is the continuation of verse 25. It can also mean the contrast between greed and self-giving.
Verse 27 study: This proverb can be described as a bribe gone wrong. How do people bribe God? They go to church, tithe, or volunteer, not for the love of God but hoping that God can bless them in return. God made his desires for obedience and love clear more than religious rituals.
3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. -Proverbs 21:3 ESV
22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. -1 Samuel 15:22 ESV
God wants our hearts. Our time, energy, and money are not what he looks for. He looks for our love and devotion. We may be able to bribe people (21:14), but we can’t bribe God.
Verse 28 study: The results of a damaging lie continue even after the lair is dead.
Verse 29 study: People puts on a bold face to resort to arrogant bluffing in dealings with others.
The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) renders this “considers his way,’ indicating that the righteous person is concerned with living by truths and their consequences.
Verse 30 study: Our human limits must be understood, and our understanding must be acknowledged in light of God’s wisdom and sovereignty. The fear of the Lord puts us in touch with the revealed wisdom of God. However, God is far ahead of what he tells, and the unrevealed wisdom is not comprehended by us.
Verse 31 study: This proverb talks about preparing for battle. All our preparations and tasks are useless without God. We still have to prepare even with God’s help. His control doesn’t deny our responsibilities regardless of the outcome. God may want you to produce a book, but you must learn to write. God may want you for foreign missions, but you must learn the language. God will accomplish his purposes and use you if you have done your part by being well prepared. This verse also shows that people will make suitable preparations to reach their goals, not realizing that the results depend on God.