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          PROVERBS   CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

       NKJV vs.1...The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it whenever He wishes. I am thinking this means that when God wants something done, He can and will use anyone He wants. He can use the person without them knowing that He is the ONE in control.   

        MSG....Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God, He directs it to whatever ends He chooses.~     

        NKJV vs.2-8...Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.   A few years ago, I was taking people in my home, because they had no place to go. Some were relatives, some weren't. My heart has always been soft when it comes to helping people who are down and out, but I don't know that I was doing it to help Jesus as much as I was doing it to make me feel better about me. I would love to believe that I did it for Jesus, but did I?   God does know our hearts, and many times when we do things, we are doing them to make ourselves look good. I believe sometimes it really isn't about God, but about us; In my own eyes I was doing great things, but...THE LORD DOES WEIGH THE HEART.   To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. (I did sacrifice when I took people in, for I gave up a lot, but I have since learned that it is not about my FEELINGS but about doing the right thing out of love. Even, and especially when I don't want to)!   A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin  (It seems this is talking about someone who is scheming and digging up as much dirt on someone they can).  The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. Getting treasures by a lying tongue Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice. The way of a guilty man is perverse, But as for the pure, his work is right.

        MSG...We justify our actions by appearances, God examines our motives. Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors mean far more to God than religious performance. Arrogance and pride....distinguishing marks in the wicked are just plain sin. Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run, hurry and scurry puts you further behind  (the more hurried I get the further behind I am).  Make it to the top by lying and cheating, get paid with smoke and a promotion...to death! The wicked get buried alive by their loot because they refuse to use it to help others  (I have never seen a Brink's truck following a hearse). Mixed motives twist life into tangles  (Ask yourself, "Why am I doing this? Is this about me? Or is this about God? Am I doing this to make me look good? Or, am I doing this because I love? Do I care what other peoples feelings are, or is it about my feelings only? If others want it one way, does this make them wrong, because I want it another way? Please question your motives!),  pure motives take you straight down the road.

        NKJV vs.9-10...Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. (Here we are hearing about this woman who nags. Women take heed. Do not nag your husbands nor anyone in your house). The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes. (I have some good neighbors, but I must admit, I do have one that looks down on me, and tries to control my life. So, I took them a strawberry cheese cake and told them that I am right next door, to call if they ever need me. They did! They needed me to stop burning leaves, even though they burnt leaves. They needed me to mow my grass a certain way. They needed me to move my trash pick-up spot. They needed me! God bless their hearts with His love.)

        MSG...Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack than share a mansion with a nagging spouse (Or a nagging neighbor!). Wicked souls love to make trouble, they feel nothing for friends and neighbors.

        NKJV vs.11-13...When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge. (There are those who are wise enough to take instruction with love but those who will rebel, they will complain that it should be done their way) The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked, Overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness. Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard (And you will say,"Lord, Lord, did I not prophecy in Your name? And I will say, "I never knew you.").  

        MSG...Simpletons only learn the hard way, but the wise learn by listening. A God loyal person will see right through the wicked and undo the evil they've planned. If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor, your cries will go unheard, unanswered. 

        NKJV vs.14-16...A gift in secret pacifies anger, And a bribe behind the back, strong wrath. It is a joy for the just to do justice, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.   MSG...A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person, a heartfelt present cools a hot temper. Good people celebrate when justice triumphs, but for the workers of evil it's a bad day. Whoever wanders off the straight and narrow ends up in a congregation of ghosts. (DEAD MEN WALKING).

        NKJV vs17-18...He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not be rich. The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, And the unfaithful for the upright.

        MSG...You're addicted to thrills? an empty life! The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied. What a bad person plots against the good, boomerangs, the plotter gets it in the end. 

        NKJV vs.19-22...Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman (Here, I will say it for you. OUCH!). There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it. He who follows righteousness and mercy Finds life, righteousness, and honor. A wise man scales the city of the mighty, And brings down the trusted stronghold.

        MSG...Better to live in a tent in the wild than with a cross and petulant spouse. Valuables are safe in a wise person's home,  (I know a good thing when I have found it!) fools put it all out for yard sales. Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind finds life itself....glorious life! One sage entered a whole city of armed soldiers...their trusted defenses fell to pieces!  

       NKJV vs.23-24...Whoever guards his mouth and tongue, keeps his soul from troubles (Have you ever heard the phrase, "You talked that one up?")   A proud and haughty man "Scoffer"is his name; He acts with arrogant pride.  MSG...Watch your words and hold your tongue, you'll save yourself a lot of grief (How much clearer can these words get?)  You know their names...Brash, Impudent, Blasphemer,intemperate Hotheads, everyone.~

       NKJV vs.25-26...The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor. He covets greedily all day long, But the righteous gives and does not spare.

       MSG...Lazy people finally die of hunger because they won't get up and go to work. Sinners are always wanting what they don't have, the God loyal are always giving what they do have.

       NKJV vs.27...The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; How much more when he brings it with wicked intent!

       MSG...Religious performance by the wicked stinks, it's even worse when they use it to get ahead.

      NKJV vs.28-31...A false witness shall perish, But the man who hears him will speak endlessly. A wicked man hardens his face, But as for the upright, he establishes his way. There is now wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD.

       MSG...A lying witness is unconvincing, a person who speaks truth is respected. Unscrupulous people fake it a lot, honest people are sure of their steps. Nothing clever, nothing conceived, nothing contrived, can get the better of God. Do your best, prepare for the worst...then trust God to bring victory. 

       Bottom line; When you read one of these Proverbs everyday, you will hear one that will speak to you. You may have heard the same one the day before, but it was not hitting home. Today's word was an 'On Time" word. A lot of talk here again about a nagging wife. We must listen, if this is pricking in our hearts.    

     

                            ~~~WE LEARN TO WALK BY STUMBLING....BULGARIAN PROVERB~~~

     

      

  • 2 comments

    Pastor Carolyn, Thank You For Your Blog. This is a conformation to me. I plan on being in the book of Proverbs again for the month of October. We all learn differently. I listen to one chapter each day over and over and over. I also highlight in each chapter the Proverbs that speak to me in my Bible. As You Said: Bottom line; When you read one of these Proverbs everyday, you will hear one that will speak to you. You may have heard the same one the day before, but it was not hitting home.

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    Pastor Linda, I have read the Proverbs for many years and I disciplined myself to read them according to each day of the month. It was easy this way for me to keep track of where I was. I also read five Psalms every day. There are actually 151 Psalms, but only 150 listed in our Bibles. This would take 30 days. It all worked out good. I have gleaned much from both....in fact from the entire Bible. thanks for writing.

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