Proverbs 21:22



The Bible says in Proverbs 21:22, “A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.” This is another verse that talks about the importance of having wisdom. Wisdom is power and strength. There are people in the world who are considered to be “mighty.” There are people in the world who have a reputation of having “strength.” If they ever become you enemies, how can you defeat them if you are not mighty and if you do not have their strength? You can defeat them if you have the wisdom of God. The wisdom of God is stronger than the strength of men.


The Bible says in Proverbs 21:23, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” Some of our greatest troubles are our own fault. It is a good thing that the Lord Jesus is merciful. We easily and often say what we ought not to say, and then there are consequences to our words. It is better not to speak than to say things that we should not have said. That is why Christians are told in James 1:19, “Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.”


The Bible says in Proverbs 21:24, “Proud and haughty scourner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.” You will build a reputation based upon how you act. For a Christian this is called you testimony. You will not be a good testimony if you are nown as a person of “proud wrath.” It is called “proud wrath” because much of our anger comes from our own sinful pride. If we were not so proud, we would not be so easily angry ad so easily offended. Who are we anyway but sinners who deserve hell? People commit great sins after they are offended. People commit acts of violence after they have been offended. It is better to be humble and to turn the other cheek.


The Bible says in Proverbs 21:25, “The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labor.” The Bible is a very practical book. It encourages work. Adam and Eve were told when the left the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Jesus worked. Jesus said in John 9:4, “I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work.” Why don’t some people see the value and the blessing of work? Proverbs 21:25 gives us one reason. It says, “The desire of the slothful killeth him…” A slothful person desires something else other than work. Their desires take them away from work. They waste their time, and they lose their opportunity to accomplish the purpose for which they were put into the world. In other words they lose their lives, and they are actually killing themselves.  


The Bible says in Proverbs 21:26, “He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.” The reason that the slothful person “coveteth greedily” is because such a person is always in need. They do not provide for their own needs because of laziness, and that puts them in the place of temptation by increasing the likelihood that they will covet what others have. “Thou shalt not covet.” Those who are not lazy, the righteous, work with their own hands and thus they have what they need, and because they are righty related to the Lord, they are generous with their substance. Instead of coveting what others have, the righteous look for the leading of the Lord where they can give some of their substance.


The Bible says in Proverbs 21:27, “The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?” What is a sacrifice? In the Old Testament sacrifices were the animals and other things that were given to symbolize what Christ would do when He sacrificed Himself on Calvary. A sacrifice is also anything that you give up for God. But no sacrifice means anything to God if the person giving it is still living a wicked life. Repent of you sins. That means to change your mind about your life, and start following the Lord. And so a sacrifice becomes an abomination to God if a wicked person gives it. And it is even worse if the sacrifice is given with a “wicked mind.” If we do not serve God with our mind, then we are not serving God. God knows the thoughts of our mind. Christians are told in the New Testament: “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God wants to fix our minds, so that everything else can get fixed in our lives.   


The Bible says in Proverbs 21:28, “A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.” This is another verse about the certain failure for liars. The first part of this verse states clearly that a liar is headed to death. It is very simple: a liar is digging his or her own grave one lie at a time. It is interesting to notice what this verse calls someone who is not a liar: “the man that heareth.” If you hear the truth from God, you will accept the Truth and Jesus will come into you. Once you do that and have heard enough truth so that you have a message, then you will have something to say. You will speak truth constantly.  


The Bible says in Proverbs 21:29, “A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.” In this context, I think the phrase “hardeneth his face” means that a wicked man has made a resolute decision to go in a particular direction in life away from God. He has set his sail. The wicked man has a hard heart and will not listen. He has already heard about God and has already made his decision. I would say that there are many people in the world just like that. But someone who is not wicked and has turned to God, now has God directing His way. A wicked person goes his own way with a hard heart, but a righteous person goes God’s way with a tender heart.


The Bible says in Proverbs 21:30, “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.” One would think that this statement would be a given that everyone would know to be true. Since God is all-powerful, how can anything or anyone be against Him and prosper? And yet many people in the world are putting forth and following ideas that are against the Lord. Their efforts are futile. They will perish at the coming of Christ, and they will be cast out of His kingdom.


The Bible says in Proverbs 21:31, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.” The first part of this verse is talking about what man does to prepare for battle. Of course, man must prepare for battle because war is the nature of life on this earth. Even though your country might want peace, another country might not want it. You must be prepared because it is an evil world. Jesus described what life on this earth will be like until He returns, and Jesus said in Matthew 24:6-8, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Be prepared for war. But that is all that human beings can do. And being as prepared as you can is not enough. You still need the Lord. Only the Lord can give you safety, because the Lord controls who wins and who loses. Above all else, make sure that you are trusting in the Lord. The Lord Jesus saves. Of course, there is a spiritual warfare taking place too. You are no match for the dark spiritual forces and their devices, but God is. Trust in the Lord and be safe from evil.


The Bible says in Proverbs 22:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” The world is ruled by a hierarchy, but the rulers of this earth are not at the top of the hierarchy: God is at the top, and more specifically, Jesus is at the top of the hierarchy of ruling powers. That is why Jesus is called King of kings and Lord of lords. This important truth has several implications. One implication is as follows: relax, God is in control and not man. This world is on God’s timetable. And God can and does change the heart and mind of every leader. By the way, the world is heading towards all the events in the book of Revelation. God is making it happen. It will happen in God’s timeline. If you have a little freedom of speech and freedom of religion, use it while you can. It will not last because of God’s plan.


Another implication of the fact that “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,” is that we Christians have access to our leaders and to our Lord through prayer, and we can be involved in changing our leaders’ minds, if we go to King Jesus in prayer and present to Jesus our requests. That will be much more effective than protesting or anything else we can do. Sometimes people who live in a democracy get in a bad habit of thinking that they should have more of what they want. You get to vote, but after the voting, those who are in power make the decisions. Christians should be respectful and submissive to those on authority. What if we lived in a country that was not a democracy? Christians should have the same kind of respectful attitude to the leaders in that country too? Don’t you believe that Jesus is the King of kings? Don’t you believe Proverbs 22:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”


The Bible says in Proverbs 22:2, “The rich and poor meet tgether: the Lord is the maker of them all.” They brought nothing into the world, and they will take nothing out of it. One day they will both stand before God and they will be equal: the rich man standing next to the poor man, and both will have nothing. Because God is their maker, God will decide when they die. Because God is their maker, God will judge them on the same standard: the law. But the rich man might have a harsher judgment depending upon what he did with his riches. The rich man would have had great opportunity to do good, and the question will be: did he use his opportunity or throw it away on selfishness? The greater the opportunity, the greater the responsibility.


The Bible says in Proverbs 22:3, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” We need wisdom from God for a lot of reasons. One reason is because of the amount of evil in the world. If we are wise enough to see the evil coming, we can take steps to avoid it. A foolish person thinks he is invincible, does not recognize the evil heading his way, and runs directly into it, and then suffers greatly because of it. Often young people do this when they go to parties that they should not go to, or they try something just because their friends are trying it.


The Bible says in Proverbs 22:4, “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.” Human beings tend to be arrogant, and proud, and aggressive. But believers understand that everything is up to the Lord. If we do things the right way, the Lord will work them out according to His will. The Lord is full of surprises. He owns everything. You are rich if the King of kings is your Master and your Father. No one likes a proud and arrogant person. You will gain much more honour if you are truly humble. You will also find out the true meaning of life. God put you on the earth for a reason. You will fulfill that purpose if you respect the Lord and fear Him. If you do not, you will go down a path of sin, and will lose what you otherwise you could have had. Thank God that He is merciful. You do not have to continue on the wrong path. You can turn to Jesus and He will receive you and forgive you.





Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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