Rev. Andrew Jagow, pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Proverbs 20:1-30.
God’s Word in Proverbs invites us to chew on His wisdom. We meditate upon what He says in this book in light of everything else He teaches us in Holy Scripture. This particular chapter has many verses that point us clearly to Christ. He is the faithful friend whose deeds match His words. He is the pure and sinless One who gives us His holiness through faith in Him. His steadfast love upholds all things, and by His wounds, we are healed. With this foundation, Proverbs gives us wisdom in day-to-day interactions with our neighbors on topics as varied as diligent labor, honest business dealings, and faithful speech.
“Wisdom and Instruction” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Proverbs. Although Proverbs is perhaps best known for its short sayings full of practical advice, the one true God has so much more in this book of wisdom. True wisdom begins with the fear of the LORD. Christians walk His way of righteousness rather than the way of wickedness because we trust that all good gifts come to us through His Son Jesus Christ, who is His wisdom made flesh for our salvation.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
20 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
2 A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion;
those who anger him forfeit their lives.
3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.
4 Sluggards do not plow in season;
so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out.
6 Many claim to have unfailing love,
but a faithful person who can find?
7 The righteous lead blameless lives;
blessed are their children after them.
8 When a king sits on his throne to judge,
he winnows out all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin”?
10 Differing weights and differing measures—
the Lord detests them both.
11 Even small children are known by their actions,
so is their conduct really pure and upright?
12 Ears that hear and eyes that see—
the Lord has made them both.
13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;
stay awake and you will have food to spare.
14 “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer—
then goes off and boasts about the purchase.
15 Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
16 Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.
17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
18 Plans are established by seeking advice;
so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
19 A gossip betrays a confidence;
so avoid anyone who talks too much.
20 If someone curses their father or mother,
their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.
21 An inheritance claimed too soon
will not be blessed at the end.
22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.
23 The Lord detests differing weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him.
24 A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
How then can anyone understand their own way?
25 It is a trap to dedicate something rashly
and only later to consider one’s vows.
26 A wise king winnows out the wicked;
he drives the threshing wheel over them.
27 The human spirit is[a] the lamp of the Lord
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
28 Love and faithfulness keep a king safe;
through love his throne is made secure.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
gray hair the splendor of the old.
30 Blows and wounds scrub away evil,
and beatings purge the inmost being.
- Proverbs 20:27 Or A person’s words are
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.