The LORD Is In Charge 21 1The LORD controls rulers, just as he determines the course of rivers. 2We may think we are doing the right thing, but the LORD always knows what is in our hearts. 3Doing what is right and fair pleases the LORD more than an offering. 4Evil people are proud and arrogant, but sin is the only crop they produce.[N] 5If you plan and work hard, you will have plenty; if you hurry to get rich, you will end up poor. 6Cheating to get rich is a foolish dream and no less than suicide.[O] 7You destroy yourself by being cruel and violent and refusing to live right. 8All crooks are liars, but anyone who is innocent will do right. 9 It's better to stay outside on the roof of your house than to live inside with a nagging wife. 10Evil people want to do wrong, even to their friends. 11An ignorant fool learns by seeing others punished; a sensible person learns by being instructed. 12God is always fair! He knows what the wicked do and will punish them. 13If you won't help the poor, don't expect to be heard when you cry out for help. 14A secret bribe will save you from someone's fierce anger. 15When justice is done, good citizens are glad and crooks are terrified. 16If you stop using good sense, you will find yourself in the grave. 17Heavy drinkers and others who live only for pleasure will lose all they have. 18God's people will escape, but all who are wicked will pay the price. 19It's better out in the desert than at home with a nagging, complaining wife. 20Be sensible and store up precious treasures— don't waste them like a fool. 21If you try to be kind and good, you will be blessed with life and goodness and honor. 22One wise person can defeat a city full of soldiers and capture their fortress. 23Watching what you say can save you a lot of trouble. 24If you are proud and conceited, everyone will say, “You're a snob!” 25If you want too much and are too lazy to work, it could be fatal. 26But people who obey God are always generous. 27 The Lord despises the offerings of wicked people with evil motives. 28If you tell lies in court, you are done for; only a reliable witness can do the job. 29Wicked people bluff their way, but God's people think before they take a step. 30No matter how much you know or what plans you make, you can't defeat the LORD. 31Even if your army has horses ready for battle, the LORD will always win.
Contemporary English Version / ©1995 American Bible Society About