Proverbs 19-21 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
19 Better a poor person who lives with integrity
than someone who has deceitful lips and is a fool.
2 Even zeal is not good without knowledge,
and the one who acts hastily[a] sins.
3 A person’s own foolishness leads him astray,
yet his heart rages against the Lord.
4 Wealth attracts many friends,
but a poor person is separated from his friend.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and one who utters lies will not escape.
6 Many seek a ruler’s favor,
and everyone is a friend of one who gives gifts.
7 All the brothers of a poor person hate him;
how much more do his friends
keep their distance from him!
He may pursue them with words,
but they are not there.[b]
8 The one who acquires good sense[c] loves himself;
one who safeguards understanding finds success.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and one who utters lies perishes.
10 Luxury is not appropriate for a fool—
how much less for a slave to rule over princes!
11 A person’s insight gives him patience,
and his virtue is to overlook an offense.
12 A king’s rage is like the roaring of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13 A foolish son is his father’s ruin,
and a wife’s nagging is an endless dripping.
14 A house and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
15 Laziness induces deep sleep,
and a lazy person will go hungry.
16 The one who keeps commands preserves himself;
one who disregards[d] his ways will die.
17 Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord,
and he will give a reward to the lender.[e]
18 Discipline your son while there is hope;
don’t set your heart on being the cause of his death.[f]
19 A person with intense anger bears the penalty;
if you rescue him, you’ll have to do it again.
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction
so that you may be wise later in life.[g]
21 Many plans are in a person’s heart,
but the Lord’s decree will prevail.
22 What is desirable in a person is his fidelity;
better to be a poor person than a liar.
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;
one will sleep at night[h] without danger.
24 The slacker buries his hand in the bowl;
he doesn’t even bring it back to his mouth!
25 Strike a mocker, and the inexperienced learn a lesson;
rebuke the discerning, and he gains knowledge.
26 The one who plunders his father and evicts his mother
is a disgraceful and shameful son.
27 If you stop listening to correction, my son,
you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28 A worthless witness mocks justice,
and a wicked mouth swallows iniquity.
29 Judgments are prepared for mockers,
and beatings for the backs of fools.
20 Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler;
whoever goes astray[i] because of them is not wise.
2 A king’s terrible wrath is like the roaring of a lion;
anyone who provokes him endangers himself.
3 Honor belongs to the person who ends a dispute,
but any fool can get himself into a quarrel.
5 Counsel in a person’s heart is deep water;
but a person of understanding draws it out.
6 Many a person proclaims his own loyalty,
but who can find a trustworthy person?
7 A righteous person acts with integrity;
his children who come after him will be happy.
8 A king sitting on a throne to judge
separates out all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am cleansed from my sin”?
10 Differing weights and varying measures[l]—
both are detestable to the Lord.
11 Even a young man is known by his actions—
by whether his behavior is pure and upright.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye—
the Lord made them both.
13 Don’t love sleep, or you will become poor;
open your eyes, and you’ll have enough to eat.
14 “It’s worthless, it’s worthless!” the buyer says,
but after he is on his way, he gloats.
15 There is gold and a multitude of jewels,
but knowledgeable lips are a rare treasure.
16 Take his garment,
for he has put up security for a stranger;
get collateral if it is for foreigners.
17 Food gained by fraud is sweet to a person,
but afterward his mouth is full of gravel.
18 Finalize plans with counsel,
and wage war with sound guidance.
19 The one who reveals secrets is a constant gossip;
avoid someone with a big mouth.
20 Whoever curses his father or mother—
his lamp will go out in deep darkness.
21 An inheritance gained prematurely
will not be blessed ultimately.
22 Don’t say, “I will avenge this evil!”
Wait on the Lord, and he will rescue you.
23 Differing weights[m] are detestable to the Lord,
and dishonest scales are unfair.
24 Even a courageous person’s steps are determined by the Lord,
so how can anyone understand his own way?
25 It is a trap for anyone to dedicate something rashly
and later to reconsider his vows.
26 A wise king separates out the wicked
and drives the threshing wheel over them.
28 Loyalty and faithfulness guard a king;
through loyalty he maintains his throne.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
and the splendor of old men is gray hair.
30 Lashes and wounds purge away evil,
and beatings cleanse the innermost parts.[p]
21 A king’s heart is like channeled water in the Lord’s hand:
He directs it wherever he chooses.
2 All a person’s ways seem right to him,
but the Lord weighs hearts.
3 Doing what is righteous and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 The lamp that guides the wicked—
haughty eyes and an arrogant heart—is sin.
5 The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit,
but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.
7 The violence of the wicked sweeps them away
because they refuse to act justly.
8 A guilty one’s conduct is crooked,
but the behavior of the innocent is upright.
9 Better to live on the corner of a roof
than to share a house with a nagging wife.
10 A wicked person desires evil;
he has no consideration[t] for his neighbor.
11 When a mocker is punished,
the inexperienced become wiser;
when one teaches a wise man,
he acquires knowledge.
12 The Righteous One[u] considers the house of the wicked;
he brings the wicked to ruin.
13 The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
will himself also call out and not be answered.
14 A secret gift soothes anger,
and a covert bribe, fierce rage.
15 Justice executed is a joy to the righteous
but a terror to evildoers.
16 The person who strays from the way of prudence
will come to rest in the assembly of the departed spirits.
17 The one who loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and oil will not get rich.
18 The wicked are a ransom for the righteous,
and the treacherous, for[v] the upright.
19 Better to live in a wilderness
than with a nagging and hot-tempered wife.
20 Precious treasure and oil are in the dwelling of a wise person,
but a fool consumes them.[w]
21 The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise person went up against a city of warriors
and brought down its secure fortress.
23 The one who guards his mouth and tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
24 The arrogant and proud person, named “Mocker,”
acts with excessive arrogance.
25 A slacker’s craving will kill him
because his hands refuse to work.
26 He is filled with craving[x] all day long,
but the righteous give and don’t hold back.
27 The sacrifice of a wicked person is detestable—
how much more so
when he brings it with ulterior motives!
28 A lying witness will perish,
but the one who listens will speak successfully.
29 A wicked person puts on a bold face,
but the upright one considers his way.
30 No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel
will prevail against the Lord.
31 A horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but victory comes from the Lord.
We can hide things from people. We can cover things up. We can cover up flaws in our character or hidden sins, but God’s lamp shines a light on the deepest, darkest crevice of our heart. There is no hiding anything from him. So today, know that you can bare it all before God. He is a gracious God. He is a loving God. And he wants nothing more than for you to come clean with him.
It reminds me of growing up. My parents would already know what I had done wrong, but they would ask me about a situation as if they didn’t know. They wanted to see if I would come clean with them. I wouldn’t have been sharing any new knowledge to them, but it was more about the condition of my heart and integrity. It works the same with God. He already knows, and stands ready to forgive, so don’t try to dodge and hide the issues from Him.