Today’s passage: Proverbs 20
- Mixture of water and fermented grape juice was necessary to preserve and make the water drinkable. “Wine” was often diluted with enough water to make it harder to get drunk. “Strong drink” had less water, increasing the alcohol content.
- A wise friend and counselor will ask questions and draw out the thoughts and intentions from the heart. He will hear the matter before giving any answers to it (Proverbs 18:13).
- A stranger or a foreigner would be much more difficult to do business with, much less likely to track down if they didn’t pay their loans. Holding their outer garment was a way of ensuring they’d be back.
- There is a big difference between the flatterer of verse 19 and the truthful, honest, loving king of verse 28.
- The flatterer speaks kindness to people to manipulate them for his own benefit.
- The king does kindness to people to provide for their benefit.
Questions to consider:
- Who are your counselors when you have big decisions to make? What kinds of things might someone ask you about for counsel? How can you be growing in wisdom and preparing yourself to give good counsel if someone should come to you?
- There are many things we could be led astray by or that could become snares for us in this chapter. Which one may be the most appealing to you? What helps you to see it for what it is and to steer clear? How could you help others do the same?
- Which proverb stuck out the most to you today? How can you put it into practice today?
Lord, none of us can say we have made out hearts clean, or that we have purified our own sin. Thank you for sending Jesus Christ for our purification and cleansing! And we thank you even more, knowing that you are fully aware of the inner depths of our hearts. You know us entirely, inside and out, and you love us…and you have saved us. You are our merciful, truthful and loving King and your throne will last forever. May we your people keep our eyes and hearts fixed on you so that we might not be led astray or ensnared.