The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
but fools gulp theirs down.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity[c] and honor.
22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
keep themselves from calamity.
24 The proud and arrogant person —“Mocker” is his name—
behaves with insolent fury.
25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves for more,
but the righteous give without sparing.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable —
how much more so when brought with evil intent!
28 A false witness will perish,
but a careful listener will testify successfully.
29 The wicked put up a bold front,
but the upright give thought to their ways.
30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the Lord.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the Lord.
There is a certain futility about some of our plans. At the time we see the plans as being foiled by evil. In the long run we see how God worked for us in ways that seemed opposed to us. In my wife and my personal experience, it was the long journey through infertility where we made choices that, if they had worked, would have led us on a completely different path from the one that we walked down. Each road block seemed so discouraging at the time, but ultimately the path led to the adoption of two children who we love.
- How is God magnified in these verses?
- What kind of things do you think people in the ancient world did to pursue their own agenda?
- How do these verses once more reinforce the basic idea of the Book of Proverbs?
- How have you found God blocked your path?
- How have you seen God’s hand working for good?