Proverbs 19:21-29

21Many are the plans in the heart of a man, but the purpose of the LORD will be established.

22What is desired in a man is loyal love, and it is better to be poor than a liar.

23The fear of the LORD leads to life; he will rest satisfied and will not be visited by harm.

24The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he cannot even bring it to his mouth again.

25Strike a scoffer and the simple learn prudence, and reprove a man of understanding and he will gain knowledge.

26He who does violence to his father and chases away his other is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.

27Cease, my son, to hear instruction, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

28A worthless witness mocks justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.

29Condemnation is prepared for scoffers, and beatings for the back of fools.

God’s plans are sovereign over our own (21), and loyal love is more important than money (22). Growing in reverence to God leads to protection from harm (23), and the lazy person is too lazy to feed himself (24). Discipline teaches instruction (25), and not honoring your parents is shameful (26). You stop learning when you stop listening (27), and it is worthless and wicked to prefer iniquity to justice (28). Some people ask for condemnation with their behavior (29).

The Hebrew word is translated “loyal love,” and refers to a specific behavior: a dogged faithfulness. It is a word used of God, who is faithful to his people even when they are unfaithful to him. The trait of loyalty and faithfulness is therefore from God, and when we practice it we emulate our Creator. The ability to consistently put someone else’s needs ahead of our own is more valuable than money, and should be a priority to us. This is another reason why it’s impossible to be a Christian individualistically in isolation from others; to whom are you practicing loyal love?

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