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~ Proverbs 20 ~ The Goldmine Of ~ Spiritual Wisdom ~
~ Proverbs 20 The Goldmine Of ~ Spiritual Wisdom ~
Proverbs is an excellent treasure of godly spiritual wisdom! It exudes short pithy sayings to enhance and enrich our everyday life. To encourage and promote us to move upward and onward diligently seeking our God given purpose in life! Here in these Proverbs King Solomon openly and frankly shares learned principles from his many life experiences. We are now afforded the ability to still reap the benefits many centuries later. The remarkable thing about God’s Word is; His principles are timeless!
King Solomon had it all. You name it he had it! The time period in which he reigned over Israel is often referred to as a “Golden Age.” He was rich beyond one’s imagination. Gold was lavishly used and ornately decorated much of the Temple palace and its furnishings along with many other precious metals and gemstones! His father, King David left him a rich spiritual and prosperous legacy! There was much “ado” in regards to him becoming the next king. Although he had many brothers Solomon was the one chosen to reign after his father. “So Bathsheba went into the chamber to the king. (Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.) And Bathsheba bowed and did homage to the king. Then the king said, “What is your wish?” Then she said to him, “My Lord, you swore by the Lord your God to your maidservant, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.” I King 1.
While King David was still alive Solomon’s brother Adonijah had declared himself King. King David had become frail and was ailing while his son schemed to take over the kingdom. The Bible records Adonijah being rebuked by his father many times. King David had on occasion failed to consistently discipline his many children. There was a lot of conflict among the brothers. (See story in I Kings 1)
Bathsheba Solomon’s mother reminds her husband, King David of His promise. Right before King David died he gave a charge to their much beloved son Solomon, “I am about to go the way of all the earth, he said, “So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in His ways and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in ALL you do and wherever you go, and that the Lord may keep His promise to me; If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with ALL their heart and soul…” I Kings 2.
King David Solomon’s father “was a man after God’s own heart.” He reminded Solomon of the importance of keeping and living out God’s principles! King Solomon was gifted with godly wisdom! He became king after much strife! His brother Adonijah continued to undermine his authority and eventually he had to give the orders to have him killed…
Within these Proverbs is a plethora of wonderful inspiring godly wisdom! Wisdom is practical, applicable advice that conveys moral and principled Truths! Knowing God is key to unlocking the infinite wealth of His spiritual treasures! Here we can read, listen and learn the thoughts of a brilliant King loved by God! Here we can also see the results of his gradual decline that caused him to detour from taking heed to what he knew was right in his heart. As we have discussed in this series King Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. He allowed them to worship idol gods for which they had altars built. The worldly ways of his many wives and many other vices pulled him away.
“Proverbs” comes from the Hebrew word that means to “rule or govern.” We in this 21st century need to once again embrace the priceless, invaluable Godly wisdom!
~ Proverbs 20 ~
Proverbial Lesson Hightlights
One must be careful when it comes to drinking. Wine comes from the vine. It is juice pressed from grapes and fermented. It can be potent and for many quite addicting! It was often diluted and mixed with water. Strong drink means the wine was unmixed. This scripture is not saying wine is wrong; but it is saying that being intoxicated is not wise. This is why they call it being under the influence. One’s judgment easily becomes clouded and their ability to make wise decisions becomes altered. Their behavior often becomes brash and unpredictable!
A mocker is a scoffer. A brawler is a person who becomes violent and often acts out, is rude and or speaks viciously, and is often out of control. This also is what is characteristic of a drunkard. When not used responsibly wine, alcohol or beer can make one behave quite inappropriately “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler, whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”
It is honorable when one does not seek to cause problems for others. Instead you would prefer to handle conflict as peacefully as possible? It is much better to settle differences responsibly. There are those who just relish in conflict, fighting and arguing! It is a way of life for them. Sometimes you have to be patient and simply overlook or avoid those who revile in conflict or constantly keep something going. When insulted you may sometimes have to hold your peace and control your tongue. Whenever necessary we want to have "redemptive confrontation" in resolving differences. God says that we should be peacemakers. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God...” Matthew 5. This does not mean that we will not be persecuted or misunderstood. Whenever possible it is better to avoid those who cause us strife. “It is a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
Being Without Sin
We need a Savior, none of us are without sin. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3. It is by the grace of God we are saved! Jesus died and sacrificed his life for us! Praise God! We can call upon His Name to save us from the power of sin attempting to reign in our lives! Sin is what separates us from God! Confession and repentance is good for the soul! He has left us His Holy Spirit to guide and teach us and lead us to all truth! The Word of God has cleansing power. It is very important that we spend quality time meditating on His Word! “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness…” I John 3
Solomon shares much wisdom with us in these Proverbs. He who was the wisest man to ever live realized that we need the Lord daily. We can learn from his many experiences! “Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?
Knowledge here is contrasted with a rare jewel to demonstrate that it is quite valuable. Here in the Proverbs one can discover the “Goldmine of Spiritual Wisdom.” There is a wealth of godly knowledge to help us live better lives pleasing in the sight of God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1. We must be willing to listen to the Lord! The Bible is the inspired Word of God, it is our Life Manual! “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2. God is Faithful, when we ask sincerely He will open our understanding so we can better understand His Word!
Gold is one of the first know expensive metals known to man. Gold, silver, bronze and many precious gems where abundant possessions of King Solomon. Rubies were a much sought after plentiful gemstone. Here we learn however what is most precious and valuable is knowledge, it is compared to a rare jewel. We obtain knowledge through the continual process of learning. “Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.”
What do you do when someone does something wrong to you? Is your first response to do something to get back at them? Well what is so interesting here, we are told that this is not the correct way to handle the situation. As a matter of fact it tells us to “Pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven...” Matthew 5. Revenge is not the way of the Lord. You may have to avoid them at times… As a matter of fact He tells us to instead; pray for them. This is not always easy. But when exercising discipline it is possible!
It is really important to stay close to the Lord. There are so many things that want to pull you away for what is right. Many are becoming more interested in pleasing others rather than God! Don’t get pulled into the world’s way of doing things. You may become popular at the expense of compromising your spiritual values! We must learn to exercise self control in our lives! This is what spiritual warfare is about!
We are not to take the law in our own hands. We are told not to retaliate. By praying for those who have hurt us we “overcome evil with good.” Romans 12. This does not mean that we won’t respond or just let others walk all over us. We must seek to enlist the Fruit of God’s Spirit when dealing with unfavorable situations and difficult people. We elect to trust the Holy Spirit to lead us in responding in a way that pleases the Lord. Sometimes this may mean not responding at all!
Quite often you will hear “I’m human” well I hope so! This is often a blanket excuse for responding in the flesh… But this still does not excuse improper behavior. As we take personal inventory regularly we should be able to see a marked progressive pattern of improved discipline. If you are still doing the same things and responding impatiently the majority of the time, and seeking ways to get back at others guess what? Only you and God know! Repent does not mean repeat! True repentance brings about a welcomed change! This is what the ongoing process of spiritual growth is all about! Patience is a part of responding in a way that pleases God! As long as the Lord has us here on this side of heaven there is room for improvement! Remember the Proverbs were written to help us live a good, happy balanced life. “Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this is wrong!” Wait for the Lord , and He will deliver you.”
Weights and Balance
The subject of weights are found many times throughout the Proverbs as well as the rest of the Bible. They were important because they were impertinent during many market business transactions that called for weighing. Society usually used coin as a monetary exchange or bartered with goods! Gold, silver and copper was molded into shapes. These metals were weighed before an exchange took place. They were stamped. For example a half shekel is what was used to pay the annual temple tax. Proper weights and consistency was important in order to properly transact business. The scale itself consisted of two pans. One pan was weighted and used as a barometer to determine proper weight against what was being weighed. Imagine if this was not always properly balanced weights would differ and it would be difficult to distinguish the true value! There were also those who would unjustly weigh the scales. They would use loaded weights to cheat the customer! They were really in the long wrong cheating themselves because the Lord is aware of everything! One here sees the importance of just weights. “The Lord detests differing weight, and dishonest scales do not please him.”
It is important that we seek the Lord! There are so many things that happen in life. So many things to cause one to detour from the narrow path that leads to the Lord! The world often tries to ensnare us in a myriad of ways. God has a plan especially designed for each of us. The challenge is tuning out the distractions of ths world and taking time to “Be STILL” and listen to the Lord! It is from Him we need constant guidance.
There are some things in life we will never quite understand. We serve and all knowing wise, Omniscient God! Thank God for His Holy Spirit! When we seek Him above all else we do not have to worry because we know everything is under His control. We know that He is able to open our understanding! These Proverbs were written long before most of the psychology journals , periodicals and many literary compositions and criticisms. Godly wisdom is supreme! Therefore, “Trust in the Lord with All your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In All your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3. “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?
I hope that you read this Proverb and in its entirety! There is much said that will open up your understanding and promote spiritual growth when you take the time to digest what is being said! Each time you read a Proverb you will ascertain a deeper meaning! There are so many more wonderful nuggets of SPIRITUAL WISDOM to discover. I recommend making some personal mental notes and see if they speak to your heart! Reading a Proverb each day will increase your spiritual growth and discernment!
Proverbs 20 concludes by telling us; “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.”
PROVERBS SERIES BEGINS
- PROVERBS The Goldmine Of SPIRITUAL WISDOM ~ PROVERBS 1
Proverbs The Goldmine of WISDOM The Book of Proverbs is a standard of Divine Truth! These Words of wisdom are from the Court of King Solomon. They are powerful instructions for everyday godly...