A Foolish Son Brings Ruin To Others
20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days. 21 Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand. 22 What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
“This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations.
“But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does.
The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,
Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come closer to me.” And they came closer. And he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
But when it came to the king’s attention, he commanded by letter that his wicked scheme which he had devised against the Jews, should return on his own head and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
Though they intended evil against You And devised a plot, They will not succeed.
They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
A good man will obtain favor from the LORD, But He will condemn a man who devises evil.
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.
There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.
“Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”
“Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in its walls and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,”
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
“In a time of tranquility he will enter the richest parts of the realm, and he will accomplish what his fathers never did, nor his ancestors; he will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them, and he will devise his schemes against strongholds, but only for a time.
and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.
and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’
“For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
“So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown;
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath,
1 Peter 2:8
and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
This section of the Proverbs consists of instructions regarding childrearing, and opens with an introductory proverb in 19:16-17. This verse, along with verses 20 and 22, is an exhortation to follow the Lord’s wisdom rather than our natural desires. We may make many plans, but unless they are in accordance with the will of God as revealed to us in his word, they will not stand. Therefore, the wise person will seek first to obey the Lord and make plans for life on that foundation.
What plans have you made for your life, both in the short and long term? How extensively have you considered how these plans fit with God’s commands in the Bible? Spend some time in prayer, laying your plans, goals, and dreams before the Lord. Ask Him to convict your heart and show you areas where your plans do not reflect his desires. Ask Him for the willingness to direct your life according to wisdom based on His will revealed in Scripture.
Do you have plans today? Will they happen? Unless the counsel of the LORD included your plans in His plan for your day, they will not happen. Only His counsel will stand. If His sovereign decrees are against you, there is no confederation or strength to help you.
The wicked say, “Who is lord over us?” (Ps 12:4). But Almighty God is lord over them. They cannot do a thing without God’s counsel having approved it in eternity past. Their haughty plans against His sovereign rule make Him laugh with holy derision (Ps 2:1-4)!
If you dislike this fact, dear reader, you should have chosen birth in another universe with a different god. But if this incredible choice was made for you – and all other choices affecting your life – humble yourself now and worship your glorious Sovereign. The most important thing you can ever do for yourself is to obey and please this great God.
Wicked men invent and devise evil things all day and night in the perverse wrath of their souls (Pr 16:30; Ps 35:20; Mic 2:1; Rom 1:30), but the LORD governs it all for His own praise (Ps 76:10). The only wrath of man allowed to exist is what He has chosen to use. The wrath of the Jews against Jesus Christ was used to bring about the gift of eternal life.
You should say, “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (Js 4:15). Do not assume living tomorrow, for it is out of your hands (Pr 27:1). You will not brush your teeth tonight without His counsel, for even sparrows cannot fly outside it (Matt 10:29). A business plan is only as good as God’s secret will favors it (Deut 29:29; Jas 4:13-15).
Does daily news of oppression and wickedness in this perverse world bother you? There is a Sovereign higher than they (Eccl 5:8), and He is using them like puppets (Is 10:15). It makes no difference to Him whether it is Alexander the Great or a bully in kindergarten, God’s counsel includes your protection, if you trust and love Him today with godly fear.
What if enemies conspire against you? What if they could harm you? The counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. He laughs at all enemies (Psalm 21:7-13). Pharaoh conspired against Israel, but God’s plan had always been to ruin him (Ex 9:16). Sennacherib conspired against Judah, but God’s plan was to mock and destroy him (Is 10:5-19).
Does the havoc that Satan wrought in Job’s life trouble you? He was no more than a puppet in the total control of your Sovereign LORD (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6). Fear God! Job got twice as much in the end as he had in the beginning, and the trial would have ended much sooner if he had maintained his integrity. Wise men appreciate his ending (Ja 5:11).
But what of good devices? Devise plans in your heart with holy fear, and He may direct your steps to a better ending than you thought (Pr 16:9; Ps 37:4; 84:11). Ruth devised to glean for a living, but God’s counsel was better – marriage to Boaz (Ruth 2:2-3). Esther devised a plan to save her people’s lives, but God gave her all the lives of her enemies.
What of chance events? Even the lot is entirely under His rule (Pr 16:33), and He directed an arrow shot at a venture to a slight crack in a disguised king’s armor (I Kgs 22:34). A fool’s drug-assisted Russian roulette will reveal a wise God’s plan for or against his life. There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD (Pr 21:30).
What of prayer? His eternal counsel saw and included your prayers, so pray with fervent faith, and He will answer you presently by that same counsel (Pr 16:1; Ps 10:17; Is 38:1-5; Phil 2:13). Like David, pray until the baby is dead, but then pray a little longer (II Sam 12:22-24; II Kgs 4:18-37; Mk 5:35-43). Nothing is too hard for the LORD. Only believe!
Religious Jews moved by Satan conspired to destroy Jesus Christ of Nazareth, but God’s plan was fulfilled in perfect detail to redeem His people (Acts 2:22-24; 3:17-18; 4:26-28; 13:26-28). Forty years later the Jews devised a revolt against Rome, but God’s plan brought the greatest tribulation in history and scattered them to the four winds. Glory!
Jews tried to kill Saul of Tarsus when he preached powerfully in Damascus, proving Jesus was the Christ, but God got him out of the city in a basket (Acts 9:19-25). God’s counsel for that converted zealot was to turn the world upside down bringing the gospel to His elect Gentiles (II Tim 2:10). You should always be very thankful (II Thess 2:13).
What will you do with this great God today? His counsel already stands as to what He is going to do with you, and it includes your neglect, your rejection, or your repentance after reading this commentary. Humble yourself and choose life, blessing, and prosperity. Worship Him in total love and reverence, asking Him to put His will in your heart.