Proverbs 20:21-25

21An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.

22Do not say, “I will repay evil.” Wait for the LORD; he will deliver you.

23Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD, and false scales are not good.

24The steps of a man are from the LORD; how, then can a man understand his way?

25It is a snare for a man to say, “It is holy,” and afterward inquire into the vows.

Inheritance has a value that is only partially contained in money (21). That’s worth thinking about. When we first receive one, it’s a nice feeling coupled with another feeling that we tamp down quickly: I’ve got a bit more money now. But the value of that inheritance usually becomes more evident over time. I inherited my grandfather’s encylopedias upon his passing in 2001, and their value has only grown to me and my family. While the rest of the world was told that encylopedias had gone the way of the dodo bird, my sons all learned to research properly edited sources of information, and never had to endure the shame of a college professor reminding them that Wikipedia is not a legitimate source. To me, those books remind me of my grandfather’s love for reading. For a man who dropped out of school in the 9th grade to serve in the Navy, you might be surprised how much he loved to read—and how quickly he became my biggest (and only) fan when I started writing in childhood.

It is not your role to punish evil, but God’s (22). This is an important lesson to remember every time you feel wronged; stepping over that boundary is claiming something that belongs to God himself. God doesn’t like cheating, either (23). Most of think we know who we are and where we’re going, but we really know very little of ourselves. That sort of information is best understood from God’s perspective, since he is the one who created us and our paths. Again, we aspire to his position in knowledge, but we’ll never get there. Finally, it is a trap to rush into vows before you have carefully considered them.

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