Proverbs 20 Commentary

Proverbs 20 Commentary

Coming up first is the subject of beer and wine. Whoever is led astray by them is not wise. There is a direct reference to drunkenness.

In Leviticus 10, the LORD strictly forbade priests from drinking wine. Not being wise here has nothing to do with failure to make logical conclusions. Rather, it has everything to do with a lack of God’s counsel within. Strictly speaking, it has everything to do with a lack of the rule of God within an individual.

Beer and wine, and then drunkenness. But the keyword is drunkenness. Today, many other substances cause drunkenness and would naturally fall under the same category. Innocent-looking and legal, or otherwise ugly with bad names and outlawed; all forms of drugs that cause drunkenness must be blacklisted by the wise, godly men and women.

The saint must be led by the Spirit of God and not by drugs!

Technology has introduced other forms of intoxication closely associated with virtual reality products. It’s a wide range of weaponry against godliness: what you can eat, what you can drink, what you can sniff, what you can hear, what you can see, or what you can feel. Virtual reality takes it a step further. They all cause drunkenness which the LORD strictly forbids.

Don’t let your drunkenness anger the King. We guess that is the essence of verse 2. Wisdom keeps you from conflict, probably conflict with one’s Maker.

Sluggards do not plow in season, so at harvest time they find nothing. Verse 4. We can apply this verse to an all-important harvest of life. You want to plow wisdom and harness it now for a harvest of life. Otherwise, you will find nothing.

Do not love sleep or you will grow poor. Again the scripture is urging individuals to quickly get to plowing wisdom.

This chapter is very rich in short parables. All mean to encourage men and women to rush for wisdom. You hear the LORD Jesus Christ speak in this chapter. It would be a perfect fit in the Gospel of Matthew.

Verse 14 talks about the irony of value. “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer – then goes off and boasts about the purchase. It’s a reference to Wisdom that may seem to have no value but then those who find it can laugh all the way to the bank.

God’s word is a rare jewel. “Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.” Yet wisdom is discoverable! Present if one cares to reach out for it. If anything, the LORD Jesus Christ knocks at every man’s heart.

The Book of Proverbs is best read with the New Testament in mind. In these lines, the LORD Jesus Christ is speaking. They are parables pointing to greater wisdom – pointing to the LORD Himself as the completeness of all that life is about. And importantly, they point to the future. So when they read: “An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end,” we know we are being reminded about the importance of looking beyond present pleasures. This world isn’t your home, for short.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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