Proverbs 21:1–9 (NKJV)

1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.  2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.  3 To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.  4 A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin.  5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.  6 Getting treasures by a lying tongue Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.  7 The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice.  8 The way of a guilty man is perverse; But as for the pure, his work is right. 9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

This passage does not have an over-arching theme.  While some things seem to flow together (God’s sovereignty, punishment of the wicked and blessing of the righteous), there are also some solitary thoughts (relationships, government).  Some comforting thoughts relate to God’s oversight of even kings and national rulers, His judgement of wickedness, etc.  Some thoughts are a bit disturbing:  If you are married to a contentious woman, you might want to put a cot in the garage; it may be safer there, and laziness leads to poverty.  Overall, the writer gives wise advice for life, and the only possible theme is that God’s ways are God’s will, and they lead to blessings.  To ignore God’s will leads to destruction.  Remember these words!

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