An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 161 – A Hasty Inheritance Through Cleansing Wounds (Proverbs 20:21-30)

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1. Who directs a king’s heart (implied that we’re talking about a good king)? *Note: God did not and does not remove freewill and control anyone’s heart, including kings (II Chronicles 12:13-14).
The Lord: “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1).

  • The heart, even of kings, is directed by God’s word (II Chronicles 30:12).
  • What is in the king’s heart is not always the will of God (I Chronicles 28:1-3). When the king needed corrected, God did so through the prophet Nathan not by changing David’s heart literally (II Samuel 7:1-17).
  • To be clear, God can only change the hearts of men with His word when those men want to change (II Chronicles 36:11-13 and Jeremiah 13:10). However, when one has a prepared heart (Ezra 7:10 and James 4:8), God’s word can easily turn that person to the right (Psalms 19:7; cf. Hebrews 4:12).

2. Do people have a hard time seeing that they’re wrong?
Yes: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2).

  • Proverbs 16:2, Proverbs 16:25, Proverbs 20:6, Proverbs 30:12, and Galatians 6:3.
  • The Lord ponders our hearts (I Samuel 16:7, Psalms 139:1-2, Proverbs 17:3, Jeremiah 17:10, Luke 16:15, and Revelation 2:23).

3. What was more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice?
“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3).

  • I Samuel 15:22, Isaiah 1:10-20, Hosea 6:4-7, and Mark 12:33.
  • Sacrifices were under the Old Law and are no longer in effect (Hebrews 10:1-18). We have the sacrifice of Christ today (Ephesians 5:2).

4. How does the Lord look at high looks, proud hearts, and the plowing of the wicked?
An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin (Proverbs 21:4).

  • High looks (Proverbs 30:13 and Isaiah 2:11), proud hearts (Proverbs 8:13), the plowing of the wicked (Psalms 10:4), and wages of sin (Romans 6:23).

5. Is it better to be diligent or to make haste decisions?
“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want” (Proverbs 21:5).

  • Proverbs 10:4, Proverbs 13:4, Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 20:21, Proverbs 27:23-27, Proverbs 28:22, and Ephesians 4:28.

6. What does God see when people get treasures by lying?
“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death” (Proverbs 21:6).

  • Proverbs 10:2, Proverbs 13:11, and Titus 1:11.
  • The death is spiritual death (Ezekiel 18:31).
  • “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me” (Proverbs 30:8).

7. Will wicked individuals, guilty of robbery and refusing to do judgment, escape destruction?
No: “The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment” (Proverbs 21:7).

  • Psalms 9:16, Proverbs 22:22-23, and Ezekiel 22:29-31.

8. Is it wise to follow the ways of man?
No, they are froward [perverse] and strange: “The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right” (Proverbs 21:8).

  • It’s not man’s way we should follow (Psalms 37:23, Proverbs 3:6, Proverbs 20:24, Jeremiah 10:23, and I Corinthians 4:6).

9. Is a brawling woman fun to be around?
No: “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house” (Proverbs 21:9; 25:24).

  • Proverbs 12:4, Proverbs 19:13, Proverbs 21:19, and Proverbs 27:15-16.
  • On the other hand, it is great to be with a virtuous woman (Proverbs 31:10-31).

10. Are wicked neighbors easy to be friendly with?
No: “The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes” (Proverbs 21:10).

  • Proverbs 16:29-30. On the other hand, we’re supposed to be good neighbors (Proverbs 3:29).

11. Can simple [naïve] individuals gain wisdom?
Yes: “When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge” (Proverbs 21:11; cf. I Corinthians 10:1-11).