Proverbs 21

1 The Lord controls the things that a king decides to do.

He can change the king's thoughts, like the direction of a stream.

2 People think that everything they do is right,

but the Lord knows exactly why they are doing it.

3 If you do what is right and fair,

it pleases the Lord more than sacrifices.

4 Wicked people are proud and they boast.

Sin is their guide through life.

5 A careful person makes good plans

and he has everything that he needs.

But anyone who works in a hurry will soon become poor.

6 If you deceive people to become rich,

it will soon all disappear.

It will lead you to an early death.

7 When wicked people do violent things, it destroys them.

They refuse to do what is right.

8 Guilty people are always going the wrong way.

Good people keep on the right way.

9 It is better to live on the roof of your house

than to live with a wife who always argues.

10 Evil things are the food that wicked people eat to live.

They are not kind to anyone, even their friends.

11 When a proud person receives punishment,

silly people become wise.

When you teach a wise person,

he learns more knowledge.

12 The Righteous One knows what happens in the homes of wicked people.

21:12‘The Righteous One’ means God, who is always fair and right.

He punishes them as they deserve.

13 If you refuse to listen when poor people ask for help,

you too will receive no help when you need it.

14 If someone is angry with you, give him a gift secretly.

A secret bribe will make him quiet, even if he is very angry.

15 When there is justice, righteous people are happy,

but wicked people are afraid.

16 If someone decides to turn away from wisdom,

he will soon be in his grave.

17 Anyone who loves only pleasure will become poor.

People who love wine and big feasts will never become rich.

18 When trouble comes,

wicked people receive the pain instead of righteous people.

19 It is better to live alone in a desert

than to live with a wife who quarrels and complains.

20 Wise people store valuable things and good food in their houses.

But foolish people waste everything immediately.

21 If you are kind and faithful, you will live a long life!

Other people will respect you and they will be kind to you.

22 A wise person can win against a city that is full of strong men.

He can destroy the strong place that they trust to keep them safe.

23 If you want to keep away from trouble,

always be careful about what you say.

24 If you are proud, people will call you ‘Boaster’,

because you think that you are better than all other people.

25 Lazy people want many things but they refuse to work,

so they are killing themselves.

26 They think only about more things that they want for themselves.

But righteous people are happy to give their things to other people.

27 The Lord hates it

when wicked people offer sacrifices to him.

He hates it even more

when they do it with an evil purpose.

28 Anyone who tells lies in court will come to nothing.

But if someone listens to the truth, his report will remain for ever.

29 Wicked people do not show what they are really thinking.

But righteous people think carefully about what they are doing.

30 There is no wisdom, no knowledge and no advice

that can win against the Lord.

31 You can prepare your horses to fight in a battle,

but only the Lord can help you to win.