Proverbs 20: The Wisdom Continues
One of the reasons I love Proverbs so much is that it offers quick shots of wisdom, and many of them, in a single chapter. I don’t know all the theology or apologetics, whichever it’s called, that determines how this book was assembled. All I know is that it’s extremely wonderful to read.
Take verse one here, for example. This one may not mean the same thing to others that it means to me. Having been deceived by “strong drink” in my own life, I can tell you this is 150% true.
And the second and third verses shout just as loudly, especially in the world in which we currently live. Truly, it is an HONOR to cease from strife. Still… fools “will be meddling”.
I just love that. It sounds so “today,” doesn’t it?
By experience, I also know that to be sluggish in the plowing season means that begging will follow when the harvest should come in. It’s not rocket science, friends! There’s more to this than meets the eye. And sometimes, the rubber literally has to meet the road instead.
A Heart’s Counsel, and More
I love verse five, which talks about the heart of a man being like deep waters, but the man of understanding “will draw out.”
There’s something to that.
First of all, we know the heart is “wicked.” In fact, Jeremiah 17:9 says that it is deceitful and desperately wicked. Here in the fifth verse, we see it is also like “deep waters,” while a man of understanding “will draw out.”
When speaking of the man of understanding, the heart is not mentioned. Why? Because understanding does not COME from the heart. The heart is the seat of fleshly desire, emotions, and other things that can sway us from our moral compass. But this man of understanding, the Bible says, will “draw out.”
I love the difference between the two. The deep can mean a coursing river or spring. The river allows you to fish for food, but there is no assurance that you’ll actually catch anything.
But to draw something out means a whole other thing entirely. It’s like taking a bucket and dropping it into a well. It’s like intentionally drawing out the sustenance that is to be found.
The heart leads to things that are not sure, while the understanding, and the study that goes along with it, means that when you apply intentionality, you will be rewarded for the effort. As any man (or woman) of understanding will be.
Hearing and Seeing
Verse twelve is probably one of my all-time favorite verses, and I declare it often. I remind the Lord, when I need specific clarification on certain things, that this was something that stands since well before Solomon’s time.
The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. (Proverbs 20:12)
At first glance, it might seem redundant. Don’t all ears hear? Well, those that aren’t deaf. And don’t all eyes, other than blind ones, see? This is expected. It’s the “natural order” of things.
But it reminds me of yet another Scripture…
Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? (Mark 8:18)
This is Jesus speaking, right after warning the disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees…” (Mark 8:15). The disciples thought he had said it because they had brought no bread, and he wondered why they would think that, so soon after witnessing His miracle with the five loaves for the five thousand, leaving twelve baskets of leftovers, as well as the miracle of the seven loaves among four thousand, with seven baskets of leftovers taken up.
He asked, “How is it that ye do not understand?” (Mark 8:23).
It truly IS the Lord that gives the seeing eye and the hearing ear. And it is the flesh that renders them useless.
Wait On the Lord
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee. (Proverbs 20:22)
If ever there was a catch-Scripture for 2020, this would definitely be in the running for top five, at least.
These days, hate is the prescription for everything. People shout “JUSTICE” while lacing their lips with every manner of hypocrisy. SJW’s, also known as “social justice warriors” fight for a variety of things, yet have no clear moral compass to guide them.
What’s that Jesus says about the blind leading the blind?
Surely, as a people… no, surely, as CHRISTIANS… we can do better. We don’t live by bread alone, BUT, rather, by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
And verse 22 is a great place to start.
Do not recompense evil. Recompense, translated from the Hebrew, shalam, can mean both to repay and to reward.
Instead, wait on the Lord. The phrase “wait on” comes from the Hebrew word, qavah, and means to bind together and patiently tarry, or wait.
Sounds good to me.