Proverbs 20

Wine is a mocker, and beer is a brawler. Whoever is led astray by them is not wise. v. 1 (WEB)

I’ve known all my life that alcohol was a slippery slope where I had seen many a person fall. There were a few years in my life when I drank … more than I should. Why? I could give reasons like “I like it” and “I was being social” and “It was there” but the reality is…I drank alcohol because I hung around people who did drink and I cared what they thought of me. And I was sad and hurting and thought it made me hurt less. This verse is correct. I wasn’t being wise.

It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife; but every fool will be quarreling. v. 3 (WEB)

Do you know people who like to fight? Sometimes I say they like ‘drama’. It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around the concept of throwing china and worse. However, before I get too ‘righteous’ I have been guilty of creating ‘tension’. I used to be really good at slamming doors. Now that is also strife! And I was definitely a fool!

Many men claim to be men of unfailing love, but who can find a faithful man? v. 6 (WEB)

‘Unfailing’, ‘unconditional’ love. Whether we know it or not, we look for it from the moment we are born. We look to our parents, our friends, our spouse, our pastor, our church fellowship to give us unconditional love. Should each of these give unconditional love? Absolutely! But we fail. Remember that song about ‘looking for love in all the wrong places’? Look to Jesus. He is the only One we can count on.

A righteous man walks in integrity. Blessed are his children after him. v. 7 (WEB)

This is a true legacy. ‘Integrity’ or living a life of God’s values that a child ‘soaks’ throughout their life. Does that mean that every child exposed to that life will choose to accept them for himself? Oh, we pray that it would be so! Remember Joshua’s words: Choose you this day whom you will serve…! (Joshua 24:15).

Who can say, “I have made my heart pure. I am clean and without sin?” v. 9 (WEB)

John Wesley is credited with the concept of ‘Christian Perfection’. If you want to read one of his sermons about this, check out the link. Christian perfection is what I keep as my goal. I do not believe I will achieve this goal – this side of heaven. My opinion and I do encourage you to take time to read Wesley’s sermon and consider your own life.

Even a child makes himself known by his doings, whether his work is pure, and whether it is right. v. 11 (WEB)

Even a child learns right and wrong and should be taught that there are always consequences for his/her choices. Easier to teach consequences at four than at 14.

Don’t love sleep, lest you come to poverty. Open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread. v. 13 (WEB)

Paul must have been thinking of this Scripture when he wrote to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 3:10). A good word that is worth repeating!

Plans are established by advice; by wise guidance you wage war! v. 18 (WEB)

I wonder if the President, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and National Security Council would consider putting this on a plaque on their wall or read it aloud before each meeting.

He who goes about as a tale-bearer reveals secrets; therefore don’t keep company with him who opens wide his lips. v. 19 (WEB)

Gossips are listed by Paul in the same breath with murderers and sexual deviants. That speaks to me about the destructiveness of gossiping.

Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in blackness of darkness. v. 20 (WEB)

Most of us had less than perfect parents and most of us are less than perfect parents. As children, we still are to ask God for His grace to forgive and bless our parents and ask the same from our own children.

Don’t say, “I will pay back evil.” Wait for Yahweh, and he will save you. v. 22 (WEB)

Paul brought this verse forward in his letter to the Romans, Chapter 12, verses 17-19. Do not seek revenge when someone exacts evil on you. God is the Judge.

It is a snare to a man to make a rash dedication, then later to consider his vows. v. 25 (WEB)

Marriage. Only to be considered after a consultation with God.

The glory of young men is their strength. The splendor of old men is their gray hair. v. 29 (WEB)

Some Proverbs are difficult to receive as a blessing when you are my age. (Yes, I am chuckling.)

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