“Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered” (13). The proverbs teach that what we do has consequences, and actions flow from our hearts. God wants us to pursue “righteousness and justice” on behalf of those around us (v3), rather than making sacrifices that give us a good reputation. We easily justify all kinds of behavior, but “the Lord weighs the heart” (v3) and wants us to be holy. “A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to his ways” (v29).
“Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor” (v21). When we invest our hearts in God’s kingdom, we find abundant life.