Proverbs 21
God Is the Source of Wisdom
1It’s as easy for God to steer a king’s heart for his purposes
as it is for him to direct the course of a stream.
2You may think you’re right all the time,
but God thoroughly examines our motives.
3It pleases God more when we demonstrate godliness and justice
than when we merely offer him a sacrifice.
4Arrogance, superiority, and pride are the fruits of wickedness
and the true definition of sin.
5Brilliant ideas pay off and bring you prosperity,
but making hasty, impatient decisions
will only lead to financial loss.
6You can make a fortune dishonestly,
but your crime will hold you in the snares of death!
7Violent rebels don’t have a chance,
for their rejection of truth and their love of evil
will drag them deeper into darkness.
8You can discern that a person is guilty by his devious actions
and the innocence of a person by his honest, sincere ways.
9It’s better to live all alone in a rickety shack
than to share a castle with a crabby spouse!
10The wicked always crave what is evil;
they’ll show no mercy and get no mercy.
11Senseless people learn their lessons the hard way,
but the wise are teachable.
12A godly, righteous person has the ability
to bring the light of instruction to the wicked
even though he despises what the wicked do.
13If you close your heart to the cries of the poor,
then I’ll close my ears when you cry out to me!
14Try giving a secret gift to the one who is angry with you
and watch his anger disappear.
A kind, generous gift goes a long way
to soothe the anger of one who is livid.
15When justice is served,
the lovers of God celebrate and rejoice,
but the wicked begin to panic.
16When you forsake the ways of wisdom,
you will wander into the realm of dark spirits.
17To love pleasure for pleasure’s sake
will introduce you to poverty.
Indulging in a life of luxury
will never make you wealthy.
18The wicked bring on themselves
the very suffering they planned for others,
for their treachery comes back to haunt them.
19It’s better to live in a hut in the wilderness
than with a crabby, scolding spouse!
20In wisdom’s house you’ll find delightful treasures
and the oil of the Holy Spirit.
But the stupid squander what they’ve been given.
21The lovers of God who chase after righteousness
will find all their dreams come true:
an abundant life drenched with favor
and a fountain that overflows with satisfaction.
22A warrior filled with wisdom ascends into the high place
and releases regional breakthrough,
bringing down the strongholds of the mighty.
23Watch your words and be careful what you say,
and you’ll be surprised how few troubles you’ll have.
24An arrogant man is inflated with pride—
nothing but a snooty scoffer in love with his own opinion.
Mr. Mocker is his name!
25-26Taking the easy way out is the habit of a lazy man,
and it will be his downfall.
All day long he thinks about all the things that he craves,
for he hasn’t learned the secret that the generous man has learned:
extravagant giving never leads to poverty.
27To bring an offering to God with an ulterior motive is detestable,
for it amounts to nothing but hypocrisy.
28No one believes a notorious liar,
but the guarded words of an honest man stand the test of time.
29The wicked are shameless and stubborn,
but the lovers of God have a holy confidence.
30All your brilliant wisdom and clever insight
will be of no help at all if the Lord is against you.
31You can do your best to prepare for the battle,
but ultimate victory comes from the Lord God.

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