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Proverbs 16 Commentary

Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked

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KEY THOUGHT:     All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Proverbs 16:2 NIV

Kindly read your Bible before going through the commentary!

Boaz and Ruth – a godly couple. Trace their godly and romantic relationship here

Proverbs 16 New International Version – NIV

To humans belong the plans of the heart,
    but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
    but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

The Lord works out everything to its proper end—
    even the wicked for a day of disaster.

The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
    Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
    through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
    he causes their enemies to make peace with them.

Better a little with righteousness
    than much gain with injustice.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.

10 The lips of a king speak as an oracle,
    and his mouth does not betray justice.

11 Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord;
    all the weights in the bag are of his making.

12 Kings detest wrongdoing,
    for a throne is established through righteousness.

13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips;
    they value the one who speaks what is right.

14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
    but the wise will appease it.

15 When a king’s face brightens, it means life;
    his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,
    to get insight rather than silver!

17 The highway of the upright avoids evil;
    those who guard their ways preserve their lives.

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

19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
    than to share plunder with the proud.

20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,[a]
    and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

21 The wise in heart are called discerning,
    and gracious words promote instruction.[b]

22 Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent,
    but folly brings punishment to fools.

23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,
    and their lips promote instruction.[c]

24 Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

25 There is a way that appears to be right,
    but in the end it leads to death.

26 The appetite of laborers works for them;
    their hunger drives them on.

27 A scoundrel plots evil,
    and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.

28 A perverse person stirs up conflict,
    and a gossip separates close friends.

29 A violent person entices their neighbor
    and leads them down a path that is not good.

30 Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity;
    whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.

31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
    it is attained in the way of righteousness.

32 Better a patient person than a warrior,
    one with self-control than one who takes a city.

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


Footnotes

a. Proverbs 16:20 Or whoever speaks prudently finds what is good
b. Proverbs 16:21 Or words make a person persuasive
c. Proverbs 16:23 Or prudent / and make their lips persuasive

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 16 Commentary

We can paste this: Far better to be right and poor than to be wrong and rich. Verse 8. This thought here challenges the notion that Mr. Right always puts food on the table. Or more appropriately, it challenges the notion that whatever puts food on the table is right.

The righteous have always struggled with the thought that Mr. Right guarantees a smooth life. Beneath this verse 8 is an important message to the saints: it is well. The combination is just fine, so says the scripture.

Another notion on trial in the chapter is the thought that the end justifies the means. It is both unscriptural and dangerous. It matters how you get your wealth. Let there be justice; let there be honest scales and balances. Cost your product righteously.

This chapter is home to an important poster verse: “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” But don’t forget verse 2. “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.”

It would probably be right to say the LORD checks every prayer for motive before giving a green light. We also know that “the LORD works out everything to its proper end.”

The world may appear disorderly and utterly under the control of evil elements. Chapter 16 says no. The LORD works out everything to its proper end; even the wicked are included – but for judgment. This is scary! Yes. The LORD is in total control.

Check with God before you publish your plans. Pride kills. To be lowly in spirit is not to be poor but that’s the best way to prepare yourself for oppression. But the LORD says that it is actually better than pride and riches.

The chapter ends with yet another mind-boggling statement. Imagine the LORD deciding which team plays who at the world cup! Boardroom decisions? Yes. Random decisions? Yes. Probability decisions? Yes. Well-thought decisions? Yes. These are uncharted waters for human imagination. We leave it there.

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21 thoughts on “Home

  1. It has been exciting learning how God can make things happen to his choosen one, God workout something wonderful and fulfils the promises he made to the father of Joseph.

    God’s words remains true so are his promises and indeed it has been God working out the salvation of man Kind by Grace through Faith alone.

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  2. Profound. My life needs a new introduction to God. Not that I have been right, but because God desires to help me… I see an amazing Grace here. Having broken the first commandment, still God looks for me and helps me to build up with him… And live for him. A littles knowledge of the Lord will ignite my passion and desire to serve him. This morning I pledge to seek, live and serve the Lord Jesus Christ and His purposes everyday of my life.
    Beautiful lesson

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  3. The Lord reintroduces himself and shows Israel, He is all they need. Some boast in horses and others in chariots but we’ll boast in the Lord. He is able and the only one worthy of our trust. Lord teach me how to always look up to you at all times and not focus on my strength or capabilities. This is my prayer

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  4. This far too common today. Just do something that seems like true worship yet it’s intent and actual practice is not even close to the set standard by the Lord. I personally feel challenged of some things we do in our personal lives, the focus of many churches and ministries today. We’ll need to realize the Lord must be worship as he has personally guided. Provides a good start of my reflection today

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  5. In those days when there was no King everyone did as they pleased. This is a good reminder to us that we are on own when the King of Kings isn’t leading our lives we’ll be doing what is not right and the results will show clearly how life without Christ looks like. We thank God that even when it looks like he’s not there, he’s behind the scenes working. I have learnt to trust in the Lord always.

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  6. Iam seeing this being stressed… There was no King in Israel… So lawlessness is the order of the day. This shows how heartless and wicked man can be with out the right King in his life. He can do anything. May the Lord help us to allow Christ in our lives that every aspect of our lives is changed and we yield ourselves to him alone.

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  7. I’m sure as the two daughters in-law stayed in Naomi’s home they learned about the God of Israel and appreciated His works among his people. Ruth’s determination and what she says moves my heart. She’s convinced she must go with Naomi and wants to spend her life with her, this relationship was strong especially between a mother inlaw and a daughter in-law. Yet Ruth stays and how she puts it shows the depth of her heart, I’ll go with with you, your people will be my people, your God will be my God…

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