Proverbs 21:1-5
Prov 21:1 (KJB)
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Many people look at a dictator or a leader of some country and sometimes their political record is anything but good. We tend to wonder about things like that and ask the question if God is in control, how come these political leaders can get away with things like that. What we must understand is that we live in a fallen world and that fallen world is enslaved to sin. God works out His plans through sinful man and sometimes bad leaders are a testing program for the believers living in that country. This verse teaches us that no leader of any country acts independently of God as He directs them for His eternal purposes. This verse also has a spiritual application. The Bible speaks about believers as being kings. (Rev 1:6 KJV) And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. This verse teaches us that God is the one who guides the paths of all believers and they are subject to His will. This principle is borne out in John 3:8. (John 3:8 KJV) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Those who are born of the spirit, that is, the saved are guided and motivated by Godís will for their lives. Many Christians have stated that they would never have chosen the ministry they are in, yet are doing them well because it is God who has guided them into it and made the way possible for their ministry to flourish.
Prov 21:2 (KJB)
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
Pondereth - Examines
There are many times man seems to plans his ways and planning is good but we are never guaranteed in Scripture that we will bring those plans to fruition. Sometimes our plans are in accord with the will of God and He may bring the plans to pass by a different way than we had planned. Sometimes we may plan something and God will examine the motives for our plans and He may decide to stop us right in our tracks and that would be good simply because he knows the beginning from the end. If our plans are detrimental to us somewhere down the road, then when we pray and ask God to guide us, we should not be surprised when He does and we should expect any type of involvement by the Lord including the cessation of our plans. Sometimes we think we know what is best for us but when the Lord examines those plans, it could have been disastrous for us. Unbelievers always think they are right in their plans and the Lord may allow them to go on but He takes special care of those whom He has saved and that we count on.
Prov 21:3 (KJB)
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Acceptable - Choosing or select
Here the Lord is more concerned with the intents of the heart and not the best sacrifice. Those who are wealthy can bring the best sacrifices because they can afford it, but their hearts may not be right with God. They may bring the best sacrifice for the purpose of pride and others seeing it would be envious. What the Lord is concerned about is our walk and not sacrifice. (Micah 6:8 KJV) He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? The essence of the laws was to be mercy and justice for all, regardless of a personís status in Israelite society. God wants His people walking humbly and compassionately toward others just as we read in Micah 6:8. The Lord would choose a good walk over a big sacrifice any day. There are many Christians today who will write a big check for ministry and then have a wrong attitude. The Lord would rather us have a good Christian walk with proper works than to give a sacrificial gift. Sacrificial giving is good but it should be done in concert with a proper Christian walk.
Prov 21:4 (KJB)
An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
An high look - Haughtiness of eyes
Plowing - Lamp
An extremely prideful person is outright sinful. Their pride forces them to think that they are better than others. This may have a link back to the previous verse which talks about a person bringing a sacrifice without the proper lifestyle. Not only is the proud look sinful but when they use their eyes as a sinful gesture, like rolling them in the presence of someone who may not be so intelligent. (Mat 6:23 KJV) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:23 states that if the eye be evil, and that is what the haughty eyes are, then that is an indicator that the whole body is full of darkness, that is, they are unsaved. The lamp of the wicked produces only darkness which makes it sin.
Prov 21:5 (KJB)
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
The thoughts - The plans
Diligent - Industrious
Only to plenteousness - Surely to profit
Here is someone who is described as a planner. This person plans their moves. Solomon describes them as an industrious person. The industrious person plans and then puts those well-thought out plans into operation. They try to take into consideration any and all variables which they might face and plan for them. Their plans will succeed because they have thought them out. On the other hand, there is the person who does not think anything out and rushes in to attempt something and normally those who do not think out their situation will fail and utterly be in want by means of them losing their investments. The other facet of good planning, especially for a believer, is that they factor in the will of God and make sure that none of their plans tend to be in opposition to the Scriptures. Once they factor that in, they will see success in their endeavors. Now it is always present that God can change even the best thought-out plans or He may even halt them, as we saw in a previous verse that God is in control of everything and can see the end from the beginning. He may approve of our plans by blessing them, making them ultra-successful or He may halt them. We must be prepared for either scenario but that does not mean we cease planning.