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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