Proverbs 20:2

The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;

    whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.

Proverbs 20:2 ESV

This proverb is obviously a warning about the power of the king. Poking and provoking a king will lead to dire consequences. However, kings should take note that they have a responsibility to their people and they should not behave as animals.

Proverbs 20:6

Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,

    but a faithful man who can find?

Proverbs 20:6 ESV

It’s easy to say, it’s hard to do. Integrity matters. Be a man who does what he says.

Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,

    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Proverbs 20:1 ESV

The book of Proverbs is the book of wisdom. The challenge presented throughout the book is discerning between the path of wisdom and the path of folly. Here, the writer erects a very clear road sign: “whoever is led astray by [alcohol] is not wise.” Read the sign. Heed the warning.

Proverbs 20:3

“It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,

  but every fool will be quarreling.”

Proverbs 20:3

Here, the writer argues for being a peacemaker. While there is certainly a time for battle (Ecclesiastes 3:8), the point here is that one’s spirit ought to be one of avoiding strife, not running toward it. This is a character issue, and the person who revels in quarreling is a fool.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Those who strive for peace are certainly not fools.

How are you doing in this regard? Is your spirit one of peace or conflict? When someone is recounting a story do you jump in to correct them on the finer details of the story? “It was a red car. No, it was maroon!” And, then justify the tensions because “It was a maroon car!”

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