Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Proverbs 16:1-17 (ESV)
16 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. 2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. 3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. 4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. 5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. 6 By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. 7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. 8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. 9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. 10 An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment. 11 A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work. 12 It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness. 13 Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right. 14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it. 15 In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain. 16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. 17 The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life.
The chapters of Proverbs we will cover this week are still part of what are called the “proverbs of Solomon” (see Proverbs 10:1). Sometimes these proverbs seem to go together. Verses 1-4 and 9 have a common thread of wise planning. We make plans, justify our methods, but do we commit our plans to the Lord? Do we really want God to be in control? Or are our plans simply another way for us to assert control? Verses 10-15 (except verse 11) all include the word “king.” Kings should be just (v10), righteous (v12), and seek honest advice (v13). While we might not be kings or queens, we are in positons of authority. Some of us are business owners, managers, supervisors, or parents. We should pray that the Holy Spirit fills us with wisdom to be righteous “kings”