21 The words of those who do right benefit many people.
But those who are foolish die because they have no sense.
22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth.
And it comes without painful work.
23 A foolish person finds pleasure in evil plans.
But a person who has understanding takes delight in wisdom.
24 What sinners are afraid of will catch up with them.
But those who do right will get what they want.
25 When the storm is over, sinners are gone.
But those who do right stand firm forever.
26 Those who don’t want to work hurt those who send them.
They are like vinegar on the teeth or smoke in the eyes.
27 Having respect for the Lord leads to a longer life.
But the years of evil people are cut short.
28 Those who do right can expect joy.
But the hopes of sinners are bound to fail.
29 The way of the Lord is a safe place for those without blame.
But that way destroys those who do evil.
30 Those who do right will never be removed from the land.
But those who do wrong will not remain in it.
31 The mouths of those who do right produce wisdom.
But tongues that speak twisted words will be made silent.
32 Those who do right know the proper thing to say.
But those who do wrong speak only twisted words.
Lord, thank you so much for these words of wisdom, we want to meditate on them, we want to understand them, we want to implement them, we want to put ourselves in a place where we can learn them. We love Your word, we are thankful for that and I also just want to thank You for the scope of Proverbs and hopefully give us all understanding as I pray this, that these are general rules but they are not absolutes. Lord, sometimes when I listen to some of these Proverbs, that’s not always true, sometimes really awesome people die young and sometimes wicked people get away with what they are doing and so thank you that these are general truths but they are not written in stone Lord, help us to hold that tension in our lives, we have this tension of the now and the not yet, this tension of how things should be and yet how things are and lord, I know, of course, everything will be made right in the new heavens and the new earth and everything will make sense there. Lord, I also pray today that You give us a little bit of understanding of how, when its hard, when evil-doers do seem to get away with things and when we seem to suffer for doing what is right, I know that even in the New Testament, the Believers were supposed to expect persecution and that was normative and so Lord , this is not something unusual, we pray Lord, that You would be that rock on which we stand. We pray that we would endure the storm that You have for us today. Verse 25 says that “When the storm is over, sinners are gone but those who do right stand firm forever” Again, there is another echo of the New Testament when Jesus says , when we listen to to those words of yours, its like when a man who built his house upon the rocks and the rains and floods came and beat against that house, yet it stood firm. Lord, we are in that place today, we are standing on Your rock, we are walking through the storms, we trust your promise that we will be able to make it through the next storm that comes our way. We know You are the rock that does not move, You are the bedrock, you are steadfast, immovable. You do not change, You are the great “I Am” from the beginning to the end, You are the Creator, You are sovereign, You are powerful, You are all knowing, nothing escapes Your scrutiny, so we build our lives on You because You are the source of our wisdom, You are the source of our strength, You are the source of our ability to endure trails and storms and so Lord, we thank You right now, in the midst of the storm, for doing just that, anchoring our feet to the Rock, for giving us hope, for making our steps firm. Lord, help us to embody verse 28, “Those who do right can expect joy” Lord help us to live in joyful expectation of what You will do and to know that weeping may happen for the night but joy comes in the morning. Lord, would you infuse people listening today with Your joy, would You infuse me with Your joy. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.
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