Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Proverbs 19:15-29 (ESV)
15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. 16 Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die. 17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. 18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death. 19 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again. 20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. 21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. 22 What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. 23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. 24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth. 25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge. 26 He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach. 27 Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge. 28 A worthless witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity. 29 Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools.
As we continue in chapter 19, some of the teachings we’ve had before are reinforced and developed further. Verse 17 shows that generosity not only builds relationships, but it also builds up treasure in heaven that God will reward us with (see Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:42 and 6:20). We are reminded in verses 16, 23 & 27 that following God’s instructions is the path to life, and those who don’t learn God’s instructions will come to ruin. Finally, focus on verse 21. This is actually a beautiful promise from God: in spite of all the craziness, challenges, and dreadful things we see in our world, we can trust that God’s purposes will be fulfilled. We don’t know when, or how, but Christ’s victory over death is our assurance that God will make all things new.