-Sovereign wishes of God in turning the king’s heart like channels of water begins the hodge-podge of wisdom laid out in this chapter on life and conduct. Every man’s path seems right in his own eyes, but only the LORD weighs the hearts. God desires justice and doing righteousness over sacrifice any day. Haughty eyes and a proud heart is the lamp of the wicked, which is sin. A diligent person plans and leads to advantage, but everyone who is hasty certainly comes to poverty. If one acquires treasures by a lying tongue, it is a fleeting vapor and a pursuit of death. Violence drags the wicked away because they refuse to act with justice. The guilty man’s ways are crooked, but the pure in heart have upright conduct. “It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman (Proverbs 21:1-9).”
-The soul of the wicked has a desire only for evil, which reduces and even eliminates any favor from their neighbor. When a scoffer is punished, the naïve observe and become wiser in their ways. When the wise are instructed, they receive knowledge abundantly. The righteous consider (sakal- understand, circumspect) the house (bayith- domain, home, family) of the wicked and turn it to ruin. The person who shuts the ear to the cry of the poor, will find that their own cry will also be unanswered. A secret gift or bribe subdues anger and wrath, though its morality may be in question. “The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, but is terror to the workers of iniquity (Proverbs 21:10-15).”
-Wandering from the way of understanding will lead to one resting in the assembly of the dead. The lovers of pleasure will end up generally becoming poor, and the lovers of wine and oil will not become rich by any means. They tend to squander the work ethic in other words. Listen to wisdom. The wicked and treacherous are a ransom for the righteous and upright, meaning that the Godly will not suffer long at the hands of the evil ones. Living in a desert land is better than living with a contentious (madown- strife filled, discord, variant) and vexing (ka`ac- angry, provocation, causing grief, wrathful) woman (Proverbs 21:16-19).
-In the dwelling of the wise is precious treasure and oil, but a foolish person swallows everything up not saving and preparing for the future. Pursuing righteousness and loyalty helps one find life, right standing with the LORD, and honor. A wise person can scale the city of the mighty and bring down strongholds in which evil men trust. Physical barriers are no match for sound spiritual blessing. The person who guards the mouth and tongue, guards the soul from troubles. The one acting with insolent pride will be called “Proud,” “Haughty,” and “Scoffer.” The lazy desires of the sluggard will put them to death, for their hands refuse to work. This kind of person has cravings all day long, while the righteous gives generously without holding back. The sacrifice of the wicked is abominable to the LORD, and is even more perverse when they bring it with evil intent. False witnesses will perish, but the one who listens to the truth in discernment will be allowed to speak forever. The wicked man can only display a bold face (implication that there is hidden fear behind the exterior), but the upright are confident inside and out, making their way much more sure. “There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the LORD. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the LORD (Proverbs 21:20-31).”
-*Application* When people say that they have wisdom apart from anything biblical and of God, don’t believe them. If the Bible is true, and it is, then we can confidently assert Proverbs 21:30 as the deciding factor in any debate, contention, or question. The LORD is sovereign, as we see again multiple times in this passage, and nothing will stand against Him in the end. The more we realize this, the better off we are.
Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 21:13, 23, 28, 31