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CHAPTER 16 Apr. 6 
Our Lives Open before Yahweh
The plans of the heart within man, and the answer of the tongue, is from Yahweh. 2All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but Yahweh weighs the motives. 3Commit your deeds to Yahweh, and your plans shall succeed. 4Yahweh has made everything for its own end— yes, even the wicked for the day of evil. 5Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to Yahweh: they shall certainly not be unpunished. 6By mercy and truth iniquity is atoned for; by the fear of Yahweh men depart from evil. 7When a man’s ways please Yahweh, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. 8Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues with injustice. 9A man’s heart plans his course, but Yahweh directs his steps.

Take Life Seriously
10Inspired judgments are on the lips of the king. He shall not betray his mouth. 11Honest balances and scales are Yahweh’s; all the weights in the bag are His work. 12It is an abomination for kings to do wrong, for the throne is established by righteousness. 13Righteous lips are the delight of kings; they value one who speaks the truth. 14The king’s wrath is as a messenger of death, but a wise man will pacify it. 15In the light of the king’s face is life. His favour is like a cloud of the spring rain. 16How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! Yes, to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. 17The highway of the upright is to depart from evil. He who keeps His way preserves his soul. 18Pride goes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. 19It is better to be of a humble spirit with the poor, than to divide the plunder with the proud. 20He who heeds the word finds prosperity; whoever has faith in Yahweh is blessed. 21The wise in heart shall be called prudent. Pleasantness of the lips promotes instruction. 22Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the punishment of fools is their folly. 23The heart of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. 24Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. 25There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. 26The appetite of the labouring man labours for him; for his mouth urges him on. 27A worthless man devises mischief; his speech is like a scorching fire. 28A perverse man stirs up strife, a gossiper separates close friends. 29A man of violence entices his neighbour, and leads him in a way that is not good. 30One who winks his eyes to plot perversities, one who compresses his lips, is bent on evil. 31Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is attained by a life of righteousness. 32One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; one who rules his spirit, than he who takes a city. 33The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from Yahweh. 


16:1 The implication is that there is an element to which God controls our thoughts and the words we come out with. This element which is beyond human effort is from God’s grace through the operation of His Spirit. This same ‘element’ is alluded to in :4- God somehow overrules and uses even the failures of the sinful; and in :9 we have the same theme, that there is an element of Divine direction over and above what we ourselves will in our own minds. Otherwise, salvation would be by steel-willed human effort alone rather than God’s grace. This same theme, of God playing a role over and above our own efforts, concludes this chapter in :33. See on 20:24.
16:2 Yahweh weighs the motives- Our justification isn’t on the basis that we happen to feel good about ourselves (:25); God’s judgment rather than our own gut feelings is all important. Although He is Almighty, God “weighs” our motives, expending some effort of analysis of our deepest heart processes.
16:10 Solomon writes inspired truth in Proverbs, but it seems that much of what he writes was written with an eye to his own self-justification, especially about the need to respect the man who has wisdom and the wise man’s superiority over all others (:16). He even writes as if the king must be accepted as automatically infallible: “Inspired judgments are on the lips of the king” (see too 20:2).   We too can teach God’s truths whilst also motivated in doing so by a desire for our own self-justification rather than His glory. 
16:20 We see here the connection between God’s word and faith; faith comes by hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17).
16:30 Negative body language may appear so insignificant, but it is judged by God as being “bent on evil”.
16:32 One who rules his spirit, than he who takes a city- A reference to Samson.