The Power and Weakness of the Mind – Proverbs 20:1-30
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul. It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. Proverbs 20:1-3 (KJB)
Verses 1 – 5 – Wine, any beverage alcohol will affect the thinking and actions of any who allow it to. Those who would allow it to are not wise affecting their relationship to leaders (v. 27).
It will also affect them in matters of strife, and work plans (vv. 3-4).
It will take a clear mind – understanding – to bring out wise counsel in one’s inner being.
Verses 6 – 11 – In many cases it is also true that beverage alcohol will give a man or woman an higher opinion of themselves; high thoughts of themselves that they do not normally have.
There is an arrogance in humankind which causes most of us to exalt ourselves anyway.
Faithfulness, integrity is a rare find. It would be especially rare among those who stimulate their minds with drugs, or other stimulants.
Those who walk in their integrity will have a good example for their children to follow.
The king whose mind is not messed up by booze or other drugs will have good judgment and scatter away evil with just his “eyes” (vv. 26; 25:5; Revelation 1:14) “Winnows all evil” (ESV)
It is an evil mind who misuses measures to gain mammon for themselves without considering their neighbor (v. 23). We all also know children by their behavior; whether it is pure and right.
Verses 12 – 17 – While verse twelve seems to stand alone by telling us who made the ear and the eye verses 13 – 17 deal with wealth. The ear allows us to hear and learn. The eye allows us to see, learn, and enjoy what we see.
One who loves sleep will never be wealthy; nor will they ever be a happy, satisfied individual (v. 13).
In order to get something at a lower price the buyer will make little of an article they desire; then after the purchase build up the item, and make much of the value, and his/her cheap purchase (v. 14).
There is value in rubies; there is “Precious” value in the “Lips of knowledge” (v. 15).
The use of collateral was a part of early systems of finance; even one’s garment. Receiving collateral is good advice if one secures a debt for another; especially if the other person is an immoral individual (v. 16).
Deceit may be “sweet” at the beginning but in the end it will be like “gravel” (v. 17).
Verse 18 – Good planning comes by wise counsel. The wise individual will seek counsel in matters of person, state, or nation.
Verse 19 – The gossip or “talebearer” will be sure to tell one thing and another. What someone says to you about someone else he/she will probably tell someone else of you.
Verse 20 – For a child to curse parents is a sure warning of darkness in that life.
Verse 21 – This verse could be also pointing to any wealth gotten quickly; such as lotteries, gambling, or thefts. Since it was not worked for it has little meaning.
Verse 22 – Recompense belongs to the LORD. It is of great benefit to the child of God to wait for His “vengeance”. See Romans 12:19 and Deuteronomy 32:35
Verse 24 – Though a man or woman is led by the LORD we may not know our path ahead. We walk by faith, not by sight.
Verse 25 – Be careful when vowing something to God.
Verse 28 – Mercy and truth are good and godly qualities of a great king or a great leader.
Verse 29 – Strength is the blessing of the young; while wisdom grows in the aging of mankind.
Verse 30 – Probably referring to discipline, punishment in some cases. The right use of corporal discipline/punishment will deter much evil behavior. See Proverbs 10:13.
All of these ways of life have to do with the power and/or weakness of the mind. The mind that is in the “Mind of Christ” will prosper in righteousness.