If You Desert God’s Law
1 The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
bold as lions.
2 When the country is in chaos,
everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
to straighten things out.
3 The wicked who oppress the poor
are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.
4 If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.
5 Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
those who seek God know it inside and out.
6 It’s better to be poor and direct
than rich and crooked.
7 Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.
8 Get as rich as you want
through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
is going to give it all back to them.
9 God has no use for the prayers
of the people who won’t listen to him.
Wow. I could say more and have had thoughts similar. Wow is all I’ll say.
10 Lead good people down a wrong path
and you’ll come to a bad end;
do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.
11 The rich think they know it all,
but the poor can see right through them.
12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
but when the bad are in charge, watch out!
13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.
14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
a hardhearted person lives a hard life.
15 Lions roar and bears charge—
and the wicked lord it over the poor.
16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.
17 A murderer haunted by guilt
is doomed—there’s no helping him.
18 Walk straight—live well and be saved;
a devious life is a doomed life.
Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways
19 Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.
20 Committed and persistent work pays off;
get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.
21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.
22 A miser in a hurry to get rich
doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.
23 In the end, serious reprimand is appreciated
far more than bootlicking flattery.
24 Anyone who robs father and mother
and says, “So, what’s wrong with that?”
is worse than a pirate.
25 A grasping person stirs up trouble,
but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.
26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
real survivors learn wisdom from others.
27 Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses.
28 When corruption takes over, good people go underground,
but when the crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.
Everything with a Place and a Purpose
1 Mortals make elaborate plans,
but God has the last word.
2 Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.
Because He is good.
3 Put God in charge of your work,
then what you’ve planned will take place.
I felt that. Deeply. Tuh.
4 God made everything with a place and purpose;
even the wicked are included—but for judgment.
Reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3.
5 God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense;
believe me, he’ll put those braggarts in their place.
6 Guilt is banished through love and truth;
Fear-of-God deflects evil.
7 When God approves of your life,
even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.
8 Far better to be right and poor
than to be wrong and rich.
I know that’s right!!
9 We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.
It Pays to Take Life Seriously
10 A good leader motivates,
doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.
A whole word. Some of these popular preachers would do well to take note…ijs
11 God cares about honesty in the workplace;
your business is his business.
12 Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds;
sound leadership has a moral foundation.
13 Good leaders cultivate honest speech;
they love advisors who tell them the truth.
14 An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives;
you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that.
I would say something…but I won’t. Or that’s all I’ll say. 🙂
15 Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives;
they’re like spring rain and sunshine.
16 Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money;
choose insight over income every time.
17 The road of right living bypasses evil;
watch your step and save your life.
18 First pride, then the crash—
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
I’m loving the MSG version compared to the King James Version (KJV) because, the words are more descriptive and paint a more vivid picture.
19 It’s better to live humbly among the poor
than to live it up among the rich and famous.
20 It pays to take life seriously;
things work out when you trust in God.
21 A wise person gets known for insight;
gracious words add to one’s reputation.
22 True intelligence is a spring of fresh water,
while fools sweat it out the hard way.
23 They make a lot of sense, these wise folks;
whenever they speak, their reputation increases.
24 Gracious speech is like clover honey—
good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
25 There’s a way that looks harmless enough;
look again—it leads straight to hell.
26 Appetite is an incentive to work;
hunger makes you work all the harder.
27 Mean people spread mean gossip;
their words smart and burn.
28 Troublemakers start fights;
gossips break up friendships.
29 Calloused climbers betray their very own friends;
they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.
30 A shifty eye betrays an evil intention;
a clenched jaw signals trouble ahead.
31 Gray hair is a mark of distinction,
the award for a God-loyal life.
32 Moderation is better than muscle,
self-control better than political power.
33 Make your motions and cast your votes,
but God has the final say.
This author this author…so many good nuggets in here!!!
1-5 Dear friend, do what I tell you;
treasure my careful instructions.
Do what I say and you’ll live well.
My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it!
Write it out on the back of your hands;
etch it on the chambers of your heart.
Talk to Wisdom as to a sister.
Treat Insight as your companion.
They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptress—
that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress.
This author is ADAMANT about us listening. The last few chapters we have been told the same thing in similar ways. They want to make sure we listen. They want to make sure we value wisdom and insight, comparing it to people and relationships. They wanna make sure we stay out if trouble via wisdom and insight
6-12 As I stood at the window of my house
looking out through the shutters,
Watching the mindless crowd stroll by,
I spotted a young man without any sense
Arriving at the corner of the street where she lived,
then turning up the path to her house.
It was dusk, the evening coming on,
the darkness thickening into night.
Just then, a woman met him—
she’d been lying in wait for him, dressed to seduce him.
Brazen and brash she was,
restless and roaming, never at home,
Walking the streets, loitering in the mall,
hanging out at every corner in town.
Oop. No words. Lol.
13-20 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
boldly took his arm and said,
“I’ve got all the makings for a feast—
today I made my offerings, my vows are all paid,
So now I’ve come to find you,
hoping to catch sight of your face—and here you are!
I’ve spread fresh, clean sheets on my bed,
colorful imported linens.
My bed is aromatic with spices
and exotic fragrances.
Come, let’s make love all night,
spend the night in ecstatic lovemaking!
My husband’s not home; he’s away on business,
and he won’t be back for a month.”
21-23 Soon she has him eating out of her hand,
bewitched by her honeyed speech.
Before you know it, he’s trotting behind her,
like a calf led to the butcher shop,
Like a stag lured into ambush
and then shot with an arrow,
Like a bird flying into a net
not knowing that its flying life is over.
24-27 So, friends, listen to me,
take these words of mine most seriously.
Don’t fool around with a woman like that;
don’t even stroll through her neighborhood.
Countless victims come under her spell;
she’s the death of many a poor man.
She runs a halfway house to hell,
fits you out with a shroud and a coffin.
Like. The author is talking about a woman. But again, this seems like a metaphor for sin, lost, anything that is a distraction or takes us off course. We gotta watch and pray so we don’t enter not into temptation cuz the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41 KJV). Jesus said that! We gotta use this here wisdom and insight.
*Summary of The Message (MSG) version*
1-2: Listen friends, it’s fatherly advice, pay attention to know how to live. I’m giving good counsel. Don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.
This reminds me of the fact that Jesus calls us friend (John 15:15) and through, his crucifixion and resurrection, we are the children of God (Romans 8:15). We have to listen. Not just hear.
3-9: As a boy at his father’s knee and his mother’s pride and joy, my father sat me down and drilled me. My father told me to take his words to heart, do what I tell you-live. Sell all and buy wisdom. Forage for understanding. Remember my words and don’t deviate an inch. Never walk away from wisdom because she guards your life. Love wisdom because she keeps her eye on you. Get wisdom above and before all. Get understanding should be written at the top of your list. Throw your arms around her, you won’t regret it. Never let her go and your life will be glorious. She will garland you life with grace, festoon your days with beauty.
This, and parts of Chapters 1-3, reads like a love letter to wisdom and understanding. Illustrations are always, at least to me, beneficial. They teach in ways that just saying the words don’t. The importance of wisdom and understanding are really being driven home by the author.
10-15: Dear friend, taking my advice will add years to your life. Clear directions to wisdom way are written. A map to righteous road is being drawn. I don’t want you in blind alleys, wasting time with wrong turns. Hold onto good advice, don’t loosen your grip. Guard it well because your life is at stake. Don’t take wicked bypass or set foot on that road. Steer clear of it, give a wide berth, detour and be on your way.
I mean, some of it is repetitive. But, the author clearly wants to make sure we get it. I dig it. There isn’t much to say. I will say. this reminds me of the Scripture that talks about the wide gate and broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13)
16-17: Evil people don’t rest unless they are making trouble. They can’t sleep at night unless they’ve made life miserable for others. Their food and drink is perversity, their drug is violence.
Misery loves company.
18-19: The ways of people who live right glow with light, they shine brighter the longer they live.
This made me think of “he beautifies the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4 KJV); “with long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:16 KJV).
20-22: Dear friend, listen well to my words, tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message with you at all times. Concentrate, learn it by heart. People who discover them live, really live, body and soul, bursting with health.
The author is concentrating on the heart as well as wisdom and insight. The heart matters. Another scripture came to mind when I read this. And it just so happens to be verse 23…shocker no shocker.
Keep vigilant watch over your heart because life starts there. Don’t talk out of both sides of the mouth. Don’t engage in careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes forward, ignoring all sideshow distractions. Watch where you walk and the road will be smooth before you. Don’t look right or left, leaving evil in the dust.
See. The heart matters. Seeing as this Scripture is familiar and matters to me, I’m not surprised it popped in my head (Ion have the book, chapter, and verse memorized…) after reading the verse before it. There isn’t much more to be said based on the straightforwardness of the verse. Buuuuuut. Isaiah 45:2: I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. Tuh.