Proverbs 16:  The Final Outcome is From the Lord

The Lord has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. Proverbs 16:4


God the Final Judge

 

16:1,2 These verses contrast human limitations with the sovereignty of God.  Man can plan, dream, and hope, but the final outcome is from the Lord.  Rather than “resign ourselves to fate,” we should trust in God.  Our loving Lord is in control of our seemingly chaotic situations.  Verse 2 elaborates on this theme.  In addition to being sovereign, God is the final Judge.  All the injustices of this world will be corrected some glorious day.

16:2 We so easily rationalize and justify our actions.  Consciously or unconsciously, we easily fall victim to self-deceit.  The Apostle Paul says, “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent” (1 Cor. 4:4).  Only God is capable of weighing our secret motives.  Let not be too confident of our innocence, remaining aware of our constant need for God’s cleansing grace.

 1  The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. 2  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits.

16:3 The verb commit… to is from a word meaning “to roll.”  The idea is to “roll your cares onto the Lord.”  Trusting the Lord with our decisions frees us from preoccupation with our problems.

3  Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.

16:5 proud in heart:  Pride has everything backwards.  It takes credit away from the Giver who gives graciously and awards it to the receiver who takes without thanking.  That is why God sees it as an abomination, a word that throughout Proverbs refers to God’s revulsion.

5  Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.

16:21  Wisdom is never easily gained or quickly achieved; that is why a wise person increases learning.

21  The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning.

16:22, 23 Those who possess understanding have access to a fountain of life that constantly renews itself and is available to everyone.  The phrase wellspring of life is an image of salvation; water was essential for life in the arid regions of ancient Israel.  The wise know they are ignorant, so they keep on learning.

22  Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly. 23  The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips.

16:25 Contrasts of God’s way with the way of the wicked figure in the teaching of Jesus as well as the proverbs (Matt. 7:13, 14). This proverb likens the wicked to being on the wrong road.  They think they are going the right way, but in the end it leads to death.

 25  There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13, 14

16:27-29 There are three different types of wicked people.  The word ungodly, or “scoundrel,” means “a man of Belial”; this person is a muckraker who uses bad information for evil purposes; he destroys people on purpose.  The perverse person starts fights between friends.  The violent man uses his power of persuasion to recruit others to join in his attacks.

27  An ungodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire. 28  A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends. 29  A violent man entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good.

16:32 One of the most favored persons in the ancient Middle East was the military hero.  Yet this proverb suggests that one who is slow to anger and who rules his spirit is a greater hero than a returning warrior.  Controlling one’s rage is more impressive than completing a daring exploit.

32  He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

16:33 The use of lots in ancient Israel could easily be confused with luck.  But when a lot is cast as a means of determining God’s will, the people knew it did not fall indiscriminately.  God exercises sovereignty over human affairs.

33  The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.

** We have peace when we know that we don’t need to know everything nor control any given situation.  We don’t need to be gods when we are not.  We just need to know we are walking on the right path.  No need to know what is waiting for us around the corner.   Just keep on walking.

 


16 1  The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

2  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits.

3  Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.

4  The Lord has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

5  Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.

6  In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.

7  When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

8  Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice.

9  A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

10  Divination is on the lips of the king; His mouth must not transgress in judgment.

11  Honest weights and scales are the Lord’s; All the weights in the bag are His work.

12  It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness.

13  Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And they love him who speaks what is right.

14  As messengers of death is the king’s wrath, But a wise man will appease it. 15  In the light of the king’s face is life, And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.

16  How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

17  The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

18  Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

19  Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20  He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

21  The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning.

22  Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly.

23  The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips.

24  Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

25  There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

26  The person who labors, labors for himself, For his hungry mouth drives him on.

27  An ungodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire. 28  A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends.

29  A violent man entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good. 30  He winks his eye to devise perverse things; He purses his lips and brings about evil.

31  The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness.

32  He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

33  The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.

 

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