Proverbs 20

Proverbs 20 has Solomon talking about the importance of hard work. “The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing”. We can’t expect a harvest if we don’t do the necessary work to put a crop in the ground to enable a harvest.  It doesn’t happen accidentally.  It requires work, and a plan.  He goes on to say “Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread”.  Our ability to provide and generate what we need to live is related to work.  It isn’t a curse.  It is truly a blessing.

This chapter has a number of comments regarding purpose and planning.  It is a core principal of Proverbs.  Solomon says this:

  • The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.
  • Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.
  • A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?
  • Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.
  • A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?”

God directs the outcome, but we need to do the planning and work to align to His will.  It matters, and we need to understand our purpose and then determine how to live it out.

Solomon again reminds us of the importance of integrity.  “The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him”!  Want to leave a legacy that your kids will love?  Live a life of integrity.  It’s the outcome that blesses people for generations.  We are also reminded that we can’t claim to be pure from sin.  It can’t be true – we are sinners in need of a Savior.  We are guilty as Solomon says “Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”? None of us can.  We need Jesus.

We can live a righteous life.  Sin is a choice, and although we will all make choices that will take us into sin, we can choose to live as godly and upright as possible.  “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright”.  God will know us by how we live, and we’ll stand before Him facing judgment for those choices.  But the blood of Jesus will cleanse us from all that sin.  His blood will cover us and make us pure and upright even when we haven’t lived a perfect life.  We need to learn from our mistakes and let wisdom help us walk in God’s ways.  “The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair”.  We may have less strength as an old man, but we can have more of God’s splendor!

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