Proverbs 21:16-20
Prov 21:16 (KJB)
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
Wandereth - To go astray or err
Out of the way - From the way
Remain - To settle or rest
Here is a verse which describes a man who errs from the way of understanding, that is the true Gospel. This is not an unintentional wandering because he is going astray from the true gospel. The person who gravitates toward false teachers and their teachings will have a firm place, that is, they will be settled in nicely in the congregation of the dead. The dead in view here is the congregation which shall be judged and cast into hell on the last day. This is why God warns us to make sure that we examine our beliefs so that we will not be resting in the congregation of the dead. We are to both examine and prove ourselves. (2 Cor 13:5 KJV) Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? There are many false teachers today who actually look and sound like they are bringing the truth, when in essence, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Too many people want to cling to a gospel which sounds good and requires no sacrifice or commitments on their part.
Prov 21:17 (KJB)
He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
The type of pleasure in view here is that of self-indulgence in parties and good times. The oil and wine represent the sumptuous feasts which were put on in the ancient times when massive amounts of money was spent on week long parties and celebrations. Today we could see this as those who spend their living on throwing parties or going to them. They squander the resources they have on gratifying their party spirit. They never think about saving for the future, instead it is living for the now. It is these people. When they grow older, have nothing to live on and then they become a burden for others. Where are all those party people they spent thousands on? Why don’t those people support them? Simply because they too, being part of the party circuit, have nothing left for themselves. When a person is young, that is when they should begin to start putting money aside for the future. No one says that every penny must be put aside, for even in the book of Ecclesiastes it states that we should enjoy the fruits of our labor. God gave us sky, mountains, ocean, fields and many other things to enjoy and we should. What is in view here, is the person who cares not for tomorrow but lives for today. A very dangerous philosophy to build a life on.
Prov 21:18 (KJB)
The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
The wicked have always pursued the righteous. (2 Tim 3:12 KJV) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. The word “persecution” carries with it the meaning to be “pursued.” Many times the wicked have tried to set traps for the righteous only to be taken by their own plans. (1 Cor 3:19 KJV) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. Those who are wise in their own eye, that is, the unsaved try to prove themselves to be crafty and when they set devious traps for the saved, they themselves are caught. One good example is Haman who wanted to hang Mordecai and it was Haman and his whole family that were hung. That is another great principle that if we sin, the consequences can and will affect others. The unbeliever is so blinded in their hatred for the righteous, they do not take that into consideration. In Joshua 7, Achan is another good example. He thought that he could disobey God in gathering treasure for himself and by hiding it, he could get away with it. His sin caused himself and his sons and daughters to be stoned to death as well as his animals. He became the ransom for the righteous congregation. Those wicked that plot against the righteous must take heed that they themselves will be caught in their own snare.
Prov 21:19 (KJB)
It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
Like the previous verse which speaks about a contentious woman, this verse too elevates the realization that a man must choose a wife that is compatible with him. Choosing the wrong partner can cause a great upheaval in the house to the point the husband may leave. This verse also teaches that a home should be peaceful and a place where people can feel safe. If spouses are chosen just because they are attractive, it could be the biggest mistake. One must choose a spouse on the basis of compatible personalities so they grow together and not apart. This verse speaks about dwelling in the wilderness because the wilderness would offer some peace and repose, and that is exactly what the home should offer its occupants.
Prov 21:20 (KJB)
There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
Spendeth - Devours
First this verse is teaching that the wise man has saved both treasure and oil in his home. Oil was used for food and other uses and the wise man does not squander the oil or waste his treasure. The foolish man, as soon as he gets something, what he does is he immediately squanders it instead of using a little and saving a little. This is why the foolish have nothing left because they live for the moment. Secondly, there is also a spiritual application here. The wise are the saved, and the treasure and the oil represent the Gospel which are in the dwelling place of the wise because it is a gospel home. The foolish man wants nothing to do with the Gospel and devours it like a lion devours prey, until there is nothing left. The unsaved man is void of the Gospel because he chips away at it until the essence of the Gospel is no more. I mean by that, those who deny Scripture like the miracles and then they explain them away and cut the heart out of the truth.