19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil. 20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. 21 Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things. 22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. 23 An unploughed field produces food for the poor, but injustice sweeps it away. 24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. 25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry. (Prov. 13:19-25 NIV)
19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools detest turning from evil.
The righteous are granted their desires because those desires conform to God’s word. When they receive what they have desired the whole inner person experiences delight. Just as the righteous have desires so also do the wicked. Their desires are wicked and foolish, and they are captivated by a lust for satisfaction. They refuse to listen to all advice that would counsel them to give up their wicked ways. Turning from their evil ways is a complete abomination to the wicked. They despise the counsellor and the counsel and would not consider giving up their evil ways. If a Christian mentions what biblical marriage is, or any issues related to proper biblical relationships, the wicked detest this kind of speech and the Christian will be accused of all kinds of intolerance.
20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
The advice that we were likely all given when we were children was to watch what company you keep. When we are in the wrong company, over a period of time we start to copy the behaviour and attitudes of our companions. It is best to be with those who have learned biblical wisdom and who live their lives and shape what they say based on the wisdom that they have learned. To be with the fool causes us to suffer harm.
21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
but the righteous are rewarded with good things.
Trouble follows the sinner and will eventually catch up with him. The proverb does not say when this will happen. It may or may not be in this life, but it will certainly be in the next life. The sinner does not escape, no sin goes unpunished. In contrast the righteous will be rewarded with good things out of the riches of heaven.
22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
A righteous person who lives wisely will have an inheritance to leave to children and grandchildren. This is a general rule but there are many exceptions. Not all Christians have children and not all Christians have an inheritance to leave. But as a general rule, the person who has lived wisely will not have squandered their wealth or assets. The sinner loses their wealth. God so works that the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. The prime example of this was the people of God were given many riches by the Egyptians during the time of the Exodus.
23 An unploughed field produces food for the poor,
but injustice sweeps it away.
Even among the poor, if they are diligent they can obtain enough food. Even if they do not have the wherewithal or the equipment to plough a field, or the tools to function in their area of endeavour they can still find enough to survive. Provision was made in the law about the responsibility that the harvesters had to leave enough for those who would glean for food. The poor people still had to work hard to gather their food, but the provision was made for them. While that provision is there, greedy people can take that earning opportunity away. Many people in OT times were chased off the land. Harvesters would try to clean the field of every last stalk.
24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
Corporal punishment is frowned upon today for parenting children. Many Christian parents choose today to use other methods to discipline their children. The important point is that the parent should not neglect to discipline their children. The one who loves their children will be careful to discipline their children. This involves teaching what is appropriate behaviour, and teaching them to show respect for all people.
25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.
The Lord is no man’s debtor. Jesus told us not to worry about food or clothes because our heavenly Father would provide. The general principles is that the righteous will have enough to meet their needs. The wicked often end up in difficulty and end up going hungry.
Lord help us to keep the right company. Help us to be good role models for others. Help your people to support each other and encourage one another in doing the right thing because we ask this in our Saviour’s name. Amen.