How nice would it be to have guaranteed rest? We could all use that from time to time. A little every day, in fact.

Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

What a person desires is unfailing love;
    better to be poor than a liar.

The fear of the Lord leads to life;
    then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 19:20-23

Many of the Proverbs are exactly that: short phrases that are truisms, applied on their own. But sometimes looking at them in the sections that they are recorded in gives them greater meaning.

“The fear of the Lord leads to life and peace” is a simple and true enough statement, but it adds depth to the statements immediately proceeding it. Fear of the Lord leads to accepting wisdom and correction, to trusting God’s plans. That much we may already know and believe. But what about the next proverb?

“What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.”

This might seem a little disjointed at first. What is the connection to these two sentences, besides the semicolon?

Unfailing love is first from God. We experience it by receiving his correction and trusting in his purposes. Resulting from that, we also show God’s unfailing love to others. And how do we fulfill that? By being truthful and faithful, by sharing wisdom and humbly accepting the wisdom of others.

From that point, we can rest assured.

Ethan Kirl