When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.
12 The Righteous One[b] takes note of the house of the wicked
and brings the wicked to ruin.
13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
will also cry out and not be answered.
14 A gift given in secret soothes anger,
and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.
15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
16 Whoever strays from the path of prudence
comes to rest in the company of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.
18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
and the unfaithful for the upright.
19 Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
Decisions have their outcomes. How does one become a good decision maker? One has to think of the goals one has for one’s life and then see if the decisions line up with those goals. The goal for the Christian is one. The goal is to enrich an harmnious relationship with God. God created the world to be a certain way and its function is to lead people to him. Of course, fallen people no longer see how Creation leads to the Creator. Fallen people see huge tracts of their life as having nothing to do with God. What such people will find is that their destiny has nothing to do with God. They will be in the outer darkness. In this sense ‘outer’ means far from Him.
- What final outcomes are described in these verses?
- How do such outcomes reflect the biger picture of whether one is in relationship or out of communion with God?
- How did Jewish people in the stories from the Bible act with wisdom or folly in ways that were directly related to God?
- How has your fate been determined by your concern for God?
- Whois a role model who is more aware of God than you are?