The Lord Is In Charge
1 The Lord controls rulers,
just as he determines
the course of rivers.
2 We may think we are doing
the right thing,
but the Lord always knows
what is in our hearts.
3 Doing what is right and fair
pleases the Lord
more than an offering.
4 Evil people are proud
and arrogant,
but sin is the only crop
they produce.
5 If you plan and work hard,
you will have plenty;
if you hurry to get rich,
you will end up poor.

6 Cheating to get rich
is a foolish dream
and no less than suicide.
7 You destroy yourself
by being cruel and violent
and refusing to live right.
8 All crooks are liars,
but anyone who is innocent
will do right.
9 It's better to stay outside
on the roof of your house
than to live inside
with a nagging wife.
10 Evil people want to do wrong,
even to their friends.
11 An ignorant fool learns
by seeing others punished;
a sensible person learns
by being instructed.

12 God is always fair!
He knows what the wicked do
and will punish them.
13 If you won't help the poor,
don't expect to be heard
when you cry out for help.
14 A secret bribe will save you
from someone's fierce anger.
15 When justice is done,
good citizens are glad
and crooks are terrified.
16 If you stop using good sense,
you will find yourself
in the grave.
17 Heavy drinkers and others
who live only for pleasure
will lose all they have.

18 God's people will escape,
but all who are wicked
will pay the price.
19 It's better out in the desert
than at home with a nagging,
complaining wife.
20 Be sensible and store up
precious treasures—
don't waste them
like a fool.
21 If you try to be kind and good,
you will be blessed with life
and goodness and honor.
22 One wise person can defeat
a city full of soldiers
and capture their fortress.
23 Watching what you say
can save you
a lot of trouble.
24 If you are proud and conceited,
everyone will say,
“You're a snob!”

25 If you want too much
and are too lazy to work,
it could be fatal.
26 But people who obey God
are always generous.

27 The Lord despises the offerings
of wicked people
with evil motives.
28 If you tell lies in court,
you are done for;
only a reliable witness
can do the job.
29 Wicked people bluff their way,
but God's people think
before they take a step.

30 No matter how much you know
or what plans you make,
you can't defeat the Lord.
31 Even if your army has horses
ready for battle,
the Lord will always win.