Proverbs 21 is full of short bursts of information for us to consider. As I read through the chapter several times, three particular verses stood out:
1 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels toward all who please him..
5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity[a] and honor.
In this introductory statement, God talks to us about leadership. “Kings” or people of different levels of leadership will exist. No matter who the “kings” are in our life, God is calling the shots. He is trying to promote good leadership, following his plan. He is working on the outcome, directing the various leaders. If a person has power, how will God try to work through the heart with actions? I don’t know that we always see that positive outcome in the short term but we have to trust that he is in charge of the long term.
I like verse 5 because I am a planner (and yes, I know a few of you out there are planners too!). Plan ahead. Planning serves us well. We can’t plan for everything in our days or our lives, but plan what you can and it will help you be prepared for whatever might come your way. I know if I plan for the week, at least I have some idea of what’s ahead. It might change or more might be added but it helps get a handle on daily life. This message reinforces the benefit of being thoughtful. If we take the time to think through situations and listen for God’s message about our plans, it will serve him well and pleases him. He also sends the message that if you operate on the fly or “shoot from the hip”, in the end you will fail or at the very least, you will be behind.
Verse 21 is my favorite and very needed this week. If you pursue the right path, if you are a good person, in the end you will be fulfilled. Look for ways to follow the righteous path and your will have a good life. Sometimes do you feel though that the good people get the short straw? Or they aren’t selected for a team or for a new role? We have to have patience. It doesn’t always show in the short run, but in this verse, we see the long term view. If things don’t go our way at times, in the end, God is showing us that will prevail.
What I liked about this verse was how it relates to the next few verses in Proverbs: “Thirty Sayings of the Wise”. Should be a good week of reading for us!