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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Proverbs Chapter 21

Verse 1: The believer, perceiving that the Lord rules every heart as he sees fit, like the husbandman who turns the water through his grounds as he pleases, seeks to have his own heart, and the hearts of others, directed in his faith, fear, and love. (2). We are partial in judging ourselves and our actions. (3). Many deceive themselves with a conceit that outward devotions will excuse unrighteousness. (4). Sin is the pride, the ambition, the glory, the joy, and the business of wicked men. (5). The really diligent employ foresight as well as labour. (6). While men seek wealth by unlawful practices, they seek death. (7). Injustice will return upon the sinner, and will destroy him here and for ever. (8). The way of mankind by nature is froward and strange. (9). It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed. (10). The evil desires of a wicked man's heart, lead to baseness in his conduct. (11). The simple may be made wise by punishments on the wicked, and by instructions to those who are willing to be taught. (12). Good men envy not the prosperity of evil-doers; they see there is a curse on them. (13). Such as oppress the poor by beating down wages, such as will not relieve according to their ability those in distress, and those in authority who neglect to do justice, stop their ears at the cry of the poor. But doubtless care is to be used in the exercise of charity. (14). If money can conquer the fury of the passions, shall reason, the fear of God, and the command of Christ, be too weak to bridle them? (15). There is true pleasure only in the practice of religion. (16). Of all wanderers in the ways of sin, those are in the most dangerous condition who turn aside into the ways of darkness. Yet there is hope even for them in the all-sufficient Saviour; but let them flee to him without delay. (17). A life of worldly pleasure brings ruin on men. (18). The righteous is often delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead, and so seems as a ransom for him. (19). Unbridled passions spoil the comfort of all relations. (20). The plenty obtained by prudence, industry, and frugality, is desirable. But the foolish misspend what they have upon their lusts. (21). True repentance and faith will lead him that relies on the mercy of God in Christ, to follow after righteousness and mercy in his own conduct. (22). Those that have wisdom, often do great things, even against those confident of their strength. (23). It is our great concern to keep our souls from being entangled and disquieted. (24). Pride and haughtiness make men passionate; such continually deal in wrath, as if it were their trade to be angry. (25,26). Here is the misery of the slothful; their hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood; yet their hearts cease not to covet riches, pleasures, and honours, which cannot be obtained without labour. But the righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied. (27). When holiness is pretended, but wickedness intended, that especially is an abomination. (28). The doom of a false witness is certain. (29). A wicked man bids defiance to the terrors of the law and the rebukes of Providence. But a good man asks, What does God require of me? (30,31). Means are to be used, but, after all, our safety and salvation are only of the Lord. In our spiritual warfare we must arm ourselves with the whole armour of God; but our strength must be in the Lord, and in the power of his might.


David Burnette's Life Application

Changing a Nation


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue with the Book of Proverbs with Chapter 21. In our text today we continue in words of wisdom from the Lord. What catches my eye is how the Kings heart is in the hand of the Lord. Even the Bible that you read today is in your hands today due the Lord changing the heart of a wicked King. In making application we see that our country and others have leaders that are ungodly. Knowing this it is hard to work under the authority of these leaders but the Bible instructs us to pray and seek God to have an ungodly Kings heart changed. Today our leaders approve of sins that are an abomination from abortion to homosexuality but even so, the heart of King is in the Lord's Hand. If we humble ourselves, pray, and seek the Lords face - then will the ungodly will be convicted, having their heart changed - to lead our land in a Godly direction. How about you? Do your pray for your leaders? Let us learn from our text today to remember that the Kings heart is in the hand of the Lord so we must pray and seek His face to change the course of a nation.

 

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Proverbs 21

Proverbs 21

 1The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

 2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

 3To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

 4An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

 5The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.

 6The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

 7The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.

 8The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.

 9It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

 10The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.

 11When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.

 12The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

 13Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

 14A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.

 15It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

 16The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

 17He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

 18The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

 19It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

 20There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

 21He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

 22A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.

 23Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

 24Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

 25The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.

 26He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.

 27The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?

 28A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.

 29A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.

 30There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

 31The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.