The Book of Proverbs ~ Chapter 20:22-30 ~ Faith Resting in the Lord ~ Having Virtue in Business, the Church & in Judicial Authority

Vol. 14 No. 15

But you must return to your God

How Do We Faith-Rest in the Lord?

1.  The first thing you do is prepare yourself to receive God’s deliverance. When in distress, you must seek God in prayer, e.g., Judges 3:9; Psalm 69:1, i.e., you must recognize your need and humble yourself before God with a contrite heart, cf. Job 22:29; Psa 34:18. This turning to God involves confession and forsaking of your sins, Prov 28:13; 1 John 1:9, because sin hinders God from helping those in distress, Isa 59:1f.

Prov 28:13, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.”

 

 

2.  It also results in fellowship with God / the Filling of the Holy Spirit, 1 John 1:5-8; cf. Eph 5:18, who empowers you to apply the Faith-Rest life.

Once you have sincerely turned to God, you must express your confidence in God by waiting for deliverance, Isa 30:15.

Isa 30:15, “For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength’….”

God chooses the time to act; man must wait in hope. God expects His people to endure difficult circumstances in faith as He chooses the most opportune time to bring deliverance.

3.  While you wait for God’s deliverance, you are to be actively involved in pursuing righteousness and expressing love, Isa 56:1; Hosea 10:12; 12:6.

Hosea 12:6, “Therefore, return to your God, observe kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually.”

Gal 5:22-24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. …”

4.  With the Filling of the Holy Spirit, claim promises from the Bible, Heb 4:1‑3, which can be called mixing the promises of God with faith.

For example claim, Isa 43:1b-3, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. 3For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

5.  Next you combine the promises of God like strands of a rope that lead you to doctrinal rationales. For example, the Essence of God rationale, the Plan of God rationale, the Logistical Grace rationale, the A-fortiori rationale, the Escrow/Election rationale, etc. This stage is known as reverse concentration: taking your thoughts off of the problem and putting them on to God in the application of Bible doctrine.

For example: the Essence of God rationale says, because God is all-powerful, Jer 14:22, He will eventually bring His promises to pass, Lam 3:25, “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.” These promises include the establishing of His kingdom on earth, Psa 37:9, 34; Isa 25:9.

Jer 14:22, “Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain? Or can the heavens grant showers? Is it not You, O LORD our God? Therefore we hope in You, for You are the One who has done all these things.”

6.  Next in Faith-Rest, you reach doctrinal conclusions knowing that God is in control of the situation. This becomes the function of Spiritual Self-Esteem. It is this stage of the Faith-Rest drill that brings you to spiritual adulthood.

The greatest spiritual crisis comes when a person has to move a little farther on in his faith than the beliefs he has already accepted. When you do, there will be accompanying growth in your spiritual walk.

7.  Hymns of Praise, both before and after deliverance.

For example, Moses song following the deliverance at the Red Sea, Ex 15:1-18, and Isa 12; 42:10ff.; 49:13; 54:1ff.

Singing gives expression to the joy of seeing God’s deliverance. Joy is frequently mentioned as man’s inner response to God’s victory, e.g., Psa 13:5.

Psa 13:5, “But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.”

Eph 5:15-21, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”

Those who have received YHWH’s help feel compelled to share it with others; Psa 40:10, “I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.” Thus God’s salvation fills life with meaning and joy.

Abraham’s circumcision is the classic illustration of the mature believer with maximum adjustment to the justice of God making application of his faith, Rom 4:17‑21. Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac was the proof or testing of his mature faith, Gen 22:1‑18.

Conclusion:

The faith rest drill is a plan designed by God to stabilize the mentality of your soul when the pressures and adversities of life come upon you. Knowing that God is in absolute control of every circumstance in your life, you respond to adversity rather than react to it.

Faith must be exercised as it develops. Learning doctrine develops faith. As this occurs, faith has the increasing ability of perception, of learning more and greater details in the Word of God. In addition, God has blessings which will only be yours if you relate totally to the integrity of God by learning doctrine, 1 Peter 1:7‑9.

1 Peter 1:7-9, “So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9obtaining as the outcome of your faith the deliverance of your souls.”

Relationship with the integrity of God is greater than any pressure or disaster in life. It is more important than anything in life, whether failures, successes, pressures, or prosperity, 1 John 5:4‑5.

1 John 5:3-5, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 4For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

So I repeat that relationship with the integrity of God is greater than any pressure or disaster in life. It is more important and more powerful than anything in life, whether failures, successes, pressures, or prosperity. Therefore, we need to adjust to the justice and timing of God in our lives and place our complete faith and trust in Him, even in times of adversity and distress, and never have vengeful thoughts or take vengeful actions towards those who have wronged us. Instead we are to WAIT on the Lord utilizing the Faith-Rest life, who will always deliver us!!!

Vs. 23

Prov 20:23, “Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, and a false scale is not good.”

As we noted in vs. 10 and Prov 11:1, we see that “differing weights,” EBEN WA EBEN, literally meaning a “stone and a stone,” represents deceit and cheating in business, which is an “abomination to the Lord,” TO’EBAH YHWH. This is doubly emphasized in the second half where “a false scale,” MIRMAH MO’ZENAYIM, “is not good,” LO TOB, which is an understatement for effect, as it parallels “abomination.”

The “differing weights” represent the individual. It represents the person’s intent, (mental attitude) and overt actions of lying, cheating and/or stealing in business transactions.

The “false scale” represents a corrupt system or organization. So whether it is an individual or an entire company and its organizational structure, if there is corruption involved, it is an abomination to the Lord, which means He hates or detests it to the core.

As we have noted, Deut 25:13-16 is God’s mandate to Israel for how they should act: with honesty and integrity in all of their business transactions. And if they do, God promises a blessing, “your days will be prolonged in your land.” But when they do not, it is an abomination to the Lord, with the result of the loss of blessings and Divine discipline, cf. Ezek 45:9-12; Amos 8:5ff; Micah 6:9ff.

Fairness, honesty and integrity in business are the results of applying Impersonal Love inside of God’s Plan for your life, Lev 19:32-37, i.e., “loving your neighbor as you love yourself.”

This verse placed after vs. 22, with the exhortation to “not get your own revenge,” reminds us that sometimes we will be cheated in various business transactions we are involved in, but nevertheless, we are not to cheat others in return or try to illicitly make up for the loss we suffered.

As Prov 26:4 tells us, if we respond to a fool like a fool, we too will become fools. It tells us that our spiritual life is not only for when we are at church, but is a part of our everyday tasks and jobs, and God is very concerned about what we do in our everyday lives. As Waltke notes, “Life in the market place and religion are inseparable.”

This passage also assures us that God does see those occasions when someone has cheated you and will defend or avenge you. Therefore, in faith-rest, you trust that God will punish those who have cheated you, and you do not seek or take your own personal revenge.

Vs. 24

Prov 20:24, “Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD, how then can man understand his way?”

This verse is closely related to Prov 16:1, 9; 19:21; 21:30, and speaks to the Lord’s attribute of sovereignty.
Man’s steps” is the noun GEBER, גֶּבֶר with the noun MITS’ADH, מִצְעָד in the plural that means “steps,” or the course of one’s life. It is a metaphor for every decision and activity. It is used only three times in the O.T., here and in Psa 37:23 and Dan 11:43.

Psa 37:23, “The steps of a man are established by the LORD; and He delights in his way.”

GEBER refers to a “young man,” usually at the height of his power. Some also see the use of this word meaning “one who has an intimate relationship with God.” Therefore, some translate this as “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.”

Then we have “how then can man understand his way?” which is the interrogative MAH for “how?” with the noun ADAM meaning “man or mankind / humankind,” and the Qal Imperfect of the verb BIN for “to understand, discern or perceive.” The rhetorical question makes this “understanding” an impossibility.

So it takes us from a young man in his full strength whose way is established by God, to all of mankind. This is an “a fortiori” argument. If even a strong and powerful young man cannot determine his steps, how can any member of the human race discern the way his steps will take? It shifts the focus from humanity in its strength to humanity in its earth-bound limitations.

At first glance this verse may lead one to throw up their hands and say, “why bother!”, the Lord will take care of it. But remember that we are exhorted throughout Proverbs to be diligent in what we do, and plan well, Prov 14:16; 21:5; 22:3, based on wise counsel, Prov 11:14; 12:15; 15:22; 19:20; 20:5, 18; 27:9.

Nevertheless, planning cannot overcome the purposes of God in our lives and in fact becomes part of it, Prov 16:1, 4, 9; 21:30ff. This verse is just setting the playing field as we remember that our Lord is Sovereign over all things, especially our lives. Therefore, we must intentionally subordinate ourselves to His revealed purposes and accept the outcomes as accomplishing His will. It counsels us to have confidence in planning and our work, knowing that the purposes of our Lord will stand.

Likewise, this proverb does not condemn evaluation or trying to figure out what went wrong in a situation. It simply tells us that our analysis can only draw conclusions based on tangible realities, and therefore should be tentative and humble, knowing that the ultimate reasons may be unknowable and only credited to Divine providence, as we faith-rest in Him and His answers.

Therefore, we see that people do not understand their ways because God makes the actual direction and destiny of their free will actions subservient to His plan. We each have responsibility for the choices we make, i.e., the direction and orientation of our lives, and for our steps, i.e., the decisions and actions we take. But the Lord determines the realization and the attaining of His goal. Therefore, the wise person looks to the Lord and not to their own hands to work out the course of justice in their lives.

This truth is what led Jerimiah to state in Jer 10:23-24, I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. 24Correct me, O LORD, but with justice; not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.”

“Only God knows the end from the beginning. With Him, all is one eternal Now. Who else but He can direct our steps? Happy the soul who can commit all his ways unto Him and sing with confidence and holy restfulness, “My times are in thy hand,” Psa 31:15.” (H.A. Ironside Expository Commentary – Proverbs.)

Linked with our previous verse, we see that the Lord’s sovereignty in vs. 24, executes His justice in vs. 23. And comparing our last three verses we see the believer looking to the Lord for help rather than avenging himself, vs. 22, because the Lord in His Divine outrage will punish any wrongdoing, vs. 23, and in His sovereignty directs the steps and the destiny of everyone, thereby enveloping each in His Divine sovereign plan, vs. 24.

Vs. 25

Prov 20:25, “It is a snare for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” And after the vows to make inquiry.”

This proverb describes a person who dedicates something to the Temple or Tabernacle, (ultimately the Lord), on impulse, Eccl 5:1-8, and only later realizes that it will be lost to his use. Such a vow was voluntary, Deut 23:22, but once it was made, it had to be paid, Deut 23:21, 23; Num 30:2, 15.

It is a snare,” is the noun MOQESH that means, “a snare, trap, bait or lure.” Here it speaks to the moral pitfall of a foolish mouth, Prov 12:13; 18:7.

Prov 12:13, “An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will escape from trouble.”

Say rashly” is the hapaxlegomena, (used only once in the O.T.), of the Qal Imperfect verb YALA, יָלַע that is derived from LA’A means, “to stammer, swallow or devour.” It means, “to speak rashly, wildly or carelessly, to blurt out or utter inconsiderately.” It indicates the predicaments people get themselves into by making foolish vows. These sudden exclamations find the person relieved of his property before he knows it. On the contrary, wisdom weighs its words before speaking.

It is holy” is the Noun QODESH that means, “holy or holiness, something consecrated or set apart.” In this case, it is setting apart something as an offering to the Lord.

And after the vow,” is the Substantive Adverb ACHAR, with the Noun NEDHER, that refers in general to any kind of votive (voluntary) offerings or promised gifts to the Lord.

To make inquiry, is the verb BAQAR. BAQAR, בָּקַר means, “to investigate, inquire or inspect.” It means to look carefully after or into someone or something. Here it is in the intensive active Piel Infinitive to caution against rashly vowing without first “reflecting” on the vow that you are going to make, before you make it.

Therefore, we need to carefully think through whether we have the ability and the means to pay the vow we desire to make and how it will affect others. After making the vow it is already too late to investigate these matters. Therefore, unless the vower has counted the cost and is fully prepared to pay it, he will find at the time payment is due, his situation will be like a dumb animal that enters a trap.

1 Cor 16:2, “On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.” Paul did not want the Corinthians to be making emotional decisions to give when he was present. This avoids bragamonies and hyper zealotness. The principle is, you determine how much you can give from your prosperity without emotions or arrogance. You do not give if you are broke or if giving would place a hardship on your family.

Scripture cautions us against needlessly shackling ourselves with promises we cannot or later do not want to keep. We are at full liberty to not make these promises in the first place, but having vowed, we are then bound to pay them in full, Deut 23:22-24; Eccl 5:1-6.

So this proverb has to do with careless speech. Fools, who are ignorant of the value of speech, talk carelessly Prov 12:18; 18:13; 29:20, and without thought for the consequences. The wise, who know better than to speak without thinking, reflect carefully on the cost of their words and actions, and so preserve themselves from many troubles, Prov 14:16; 22:3; 27:12.

The principle is, do not make a vow until you are sure of what you can do, and do not publicly dedicate your life to God until you have thought it through. God does not want that kind of a sentimental decision. Therefore, rash and zealous religious excitement that leads to hasty promises or vows that are not kept is no substitute for a solid character that functions in the utmost integrity and thinks soberly with well-balanced judgment which leads to “doing what you say” and “saying what you WILL do.”

In conclusion, Waltke notes these verses reassert truths about the Lord found in Prov 16:1-9, as it escalates from a proverb rejecting self-vengeance, vs. 22a, to looking to the Lord for help by faith-resting, vs. 22b, to an assertion that He detests human injustice, vs. 23, and has the final say in every human being’s life, vs. 24, underscored by the imprudence of making rash vows, vs. 25.

Mat 6:16-18, “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Vs.  26

Prov 20:26, “A wise king winnows the wicked, and drives the threshing wheel over them.”

Like vs. 8, this verse uses harvest imagery, but in reverse order, to describe the king’s judicial authority; the image of winnowing and threshing grain. This proverb speaks to the king’s responsibility through his judicial authority to cleanse the community from evil perpetrators.

Winnows” is the same word used for “disperses” in vs. 8, the verb ZARAH. Here it is in the Piel Participle for intensified ongoing action. Winnowing is the process of separating the edible grain from the useless chaff. In fact it was the second action performed, as “threshing” was first performed to crush and separated the hull (chaff) from the good grain. This could be done in three different ways, you could drive an animal repeatedly over it, Deut 25:4, roll a weight or “wheel” over it; this might have been Samson’s fate, Judges 16:21, or beat it with wooden flails, known from Egyptian tomb paintings. Once threshed, both the chaff and grain were tossed up into the air, (winnowed), where the wind would blow away the lighter chaff and the useful grain would fall back into the basket or blanket.

The chaff that the “wise king,” CHAKAM MELEK, is to winnow is “the wicked,” RASHA, those who break the law and cause harm and/or injury to others within the community.

As noted above, the first action performed to the newly harvested grain is seen in the second half of this verse, “and drives the wheel over them.” The word “threshing” does not appear in the Hebrew but is alluded to, as you will see.

Drives” is the causative active Hiphil Imperfect of SHUB that means to continually or repeatedly, “return or turn back.” So the king causes the “wheel,” OPHAN, אוֹפַן‎, to turn back “over them,” which is AL with the masculine pronominal suffix. Therefore, “turning back the wheel” becomes “drives” and explains the process of threshing,

Wheel,” OPHAN is a very interesting word. It is used here for the first time in Proverbs. It is first used for the chariot wheels of the Egyptians that the Lord caused to fall off while they were pursuing the freed Israelites, Ex 14:25. So we see the Lord defending His people, which the righteous king is also to do as he winnows out the evil person among the people.

It is also predominately used in the book of Ezekiel to describe the wheels associated with the four Living Creatures, Ezek 1, 10. Those wheels could move in 3 dimensional direction, Ezek 1:19, and were full of eyes, Ezek 10:12. As such the wheels symbolize the omnipresence of God, which gives us another metaphor for Proverbs.

Prov 15:3, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.”

Just as it would be impossible for a person to escape from one of the wheels in Ezekiel’s vision, (all seeing and moving in all directions), so too is it impossible to escape from the omniscience and omnipresence of God.

Therefore, when the king drives the wheel of his justice in the threshing process, we see once again that he is an extension of God’s omniscient and omnipresent righteousness and justice. As such, we see the tie in with vs. 22, where we are told to not take vengeance into our own hands, but are to “wait for the Lord,” who at times will use the judicial system to avenge you.

This is accomplished by means of the threshing process, which metaphorically stands for the judicial trial process designed to distinguish between the truth and the lie, innocence and guilt is determined, and the winnowing process that metaphorically means to disperse into oblivion, which in a sense purifies the grain by the removal of the chaff, represents the sentencing of the guilty criminal who is removed from society for its good.

This is the lofty responsibility that all those involved in our judicial system, (attorneys, judges, juries, and legislators), hold, as an extension of God’s arm to cleanse a community from evil and separate the wicked from the righteous. That is why we call it “the long arm of the law.”

This is a solemn responsibility as a type of The Lord, who in the end will separate the evil from the righteous, Mal 3:2; Mat 3:12.

Therefore, the king’s activity in judgment, (judge and jury today), was to be no less careful and just as thorough as the thresher and winnower. The king was to determine guilt and innocence, and his sentences were to demonstrate which was which. Cf.  Prov 16:1-9, with 10-15; Rom 12:17-21; 13:1-7.

Vs. 27

Prov 20:27, “The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the innermost parts of his being.”

Continuing with the king’s judicial authority, here we see the importance of applying the wisdom that comes from Bible Doctrine in your soul when making decisions.

The spirit of man,” NESHAMAH ADAM, is speaking about your human spirit as “the lamp of the Lord,” NER YHWH, or the illumination of the Lord, another metaphor for God’s omniscience. Combined it means the application of Bible doctrine as an extension of the Lord’s justices. It also asserts the close connection between the Lord and the believer, and relativizes the power of the king, as he too is under God’s scrutiny in this close relationship, because the Lord, who inspires his king, Prov 16:10 and guides him, Prov 21:1, knows every human thought and motive.

Therefore, the believer can trust the Lord to help him and not to avenge himself, vs. 22, because the Lord, in addition to being moral, vs. 23, and sovereign, vs. 24, is also omnipresent and omniscient, vs. 27, and all four attributes are essential for the Lord to execute perfect justice. This is an example of the Essence of God Rationale.

And just as a lamp light’s up a dark place, so too does our human spirit, “search,” Qal active of CHAPHAS, meaning the act of thoroughly searching, “all the innermost parts of his being,” KOL CHEDHER BETEN. Literally it reads “all the chambers of the stomach,” but is used idiomatically for the heart or right lobe of the soul. “Chambers” portrays a person as a series of rooms, each of which must be carefully searched or scrutinized, until the entire building, person, has been explored, cf. Prov 18:8; 20:30.

So we see that doctrine stored in the right lobe of your soul applied by your human spirit affects the entire mentality of your soul, as it battles against and overcomes even the temptations of your sin nature. As a result, your thinking will be in-line with the righteousness and justices of God. And as one ordained to make judicial decisions, your righteous judgments are the “lamp of the Lord,” which means an extension of His righteousness to cull evil and wickedness, (darkness), from the community.

In summary, Bible doctrine applied from the right lobe of your soul in your thoughts and speech serves as the Lord’s flashlight to expose human thought and inclination, and illuminate the darkest recesses of your life. As a result of the exposure of sin, human good or evil found therein, that same doctrine will wash it clean; i.e., remove the garbage in your soul. Now with a renewed mind, you will make good decisions to uphold righteousness and remove wickedness.

Vs. 28

Prov 20:28, “Loyalty and truth preserve the king, and he upholds his throne by righteousness.”

In vs. 26 we saw the king’s execution of justice against the wicked.

In vs. 27 we noted the application of Bible doctrine as an extension of the Lord’s justice.

Now we see the king’s unflinching loyalty to the righteous.

Loyalty” is the noun CHESED that means, “grace, kindness, mercy, loyalty, goodness, faithfulness or steadfast love.” This is the expression of Impersonal and Unconditional Love; AGAPE love.

Tied with loyalty here is “truth” EMETH that can also mean, “faithfulness, reliability, firmness, or truth.” Predominately translated “truth,” it stands for God’s Word / Bible Doctrine and is the means by which AGAPE love is expressed.

Here we see that these two “preserve,” the Qal Imperfect of NATSAR, “to guard, preserve or keep,” “the king,” MELEK.

NATSAR refers to people maintaining things entrusted to them, especially to keeping the truths of God in both actions and mind, Psa 119:100, 115.

Psa 119:115, “Depart from me, evildoers, that I may observe (NATSAR) the commandments of my God.

God’s Word is to be kept with our whole hearts, Psa 119:69; our hearts, in turn, ought to be maintained in a right state, Prov 4:23, and we are to keep our speech under control, Psa 34:13; 141:3.

Then we have, “and he upholds his throne by righteousness,” which begins with the Qal Perfect of SA’AD, סָעַד for “upholds” that means, “to support or strengthen” and is related to an Arabic word meaning “forearm.” So we see the metaphor of “the long arm of the law” once again. It primarily refers to the support and strength given by God to someone in need, cf. Psa 18:35; 94:18; 119:117. It looks back to the king as its subject and means, to maintain someone or something by supplying it with things necessary for existence, such as food for the heart, Gen 18:5; Judges 19:5, 8; 1 Kings 13:7; Psa 104:15.

With SA’AD is KISSE for “seat, chair, throne, etc., that can also describe a ruler himself,” and BE CHESED for “by righteousness.” But as we have noted above, CHESED means “grace, steadfast love, etc.”

This proverb warns kings or judicial leaders that the primary standard for success was universal justice and that they were ultimately responsible to establish justice in the land, Prov 20:8, 26. A strong sense of justice reflected a king’s commitment to the Covenant / His Word, Deut 17:18ff, and established him securely on the throne, Prov 16:12; 29:4, 14.

So we see the importance of applying Impersonal and Unconditional love from Bible doctrine in the soul, when making judgments for the helpless member in need of being avenged, vs. 22. This means trusting in the Lord in faith-rest application of the wisdom of Bible doctrine from your soul, and not trusting in yourself.

Following this rule exemplifies the Christ-like nature as the final fulfillment of this proverb is found in Jesus Christ Himself, cf. Psa 72:1-2, 4; Isa 16:4b-5.

Vs. 29

Prov 20:29, “The glory of young men is their strength, and the honor of old men is their gray hair.”

Here we see the mutual dependence of the generations on each other by featuring their splendors, the strength of youth and the wisdom of the aged.

This proverb begins with “glory,” which is TIPH’ARATH that means “adornment, ornament, splendor or that which is made glorious or beautiful,” which describes what “strength,” KOACH, was to a “young man,” BACHUR, and what “honor,” HADAR, הָדָר that means, “honor or ornament and refers to the lifting up of the status of an individual or group,” that is the result of years of experience, signified by “gray hair,” SEYBAH, on an “old man,” ZAQEN.

On both the youth and aged we see crowns. Both of them have something of great value to offer to a community that must be honored by all. Age is a sign of the blessing that attends a life wisely lived, Prov 3:2, 16; 4:10; 9:11. The young may be naive, but they have energy and strength. The elderly may not have the strength that was once theirs, but the wisdom and insight that they have gained by their experience make up for their lack of physical ability. Like other proverbs, this verse encourages mutual respect and joy for each other’s gifts and abilities. Cf. Prov 16:31; 17:6.

In this we also see two analogies of God’s Word resident within your soul, as it gives both strength to the weak and wisdom to the fool. And when you apply it you will be adorned with honor.

How important it is for a king or those with judicial authority to apply both the strength and wisdom that comes from Bible doctrine. And when they do, both they and the community will be honored.

Vs. 30

Prov 20:30, “Stripes that wound scour away evil, and strokes reach the innermost parts.”

Here we see the application of that strength and wisdom in judicial punishment for the wicked criminal. As we have seen, we can learn the easy way through the intake and application of God’s Word in our lives, or we can learn the hard way, as seen here through disciplinary actions.

“Stripes” is the noun CHABURAH, חֲבֻרָה that is one of three variant spellings, but all meaning the same, “a bruise, wound or injury.” It was used of our Lord’s wounds in Isa 53:5.

These bruises “that wound,” PESTA, פֶּצַע, meaning a physical injury, “scour away,” MARAQ, מָרַק in the causative Hiphil Imperfect that describes the process of “to polishing, cleaning, (i.e.,  removing thoroughly through hard rubbing),” “evil,” RA.

This is reemphasized in the second half with “and strokes reach the innermost parts,” where “strokes,” is the Noun MAKKAH, מַכָּה that means, “striking, wound, defeat, or plague,” and “innermost parts” is once again, CHEDER BETEN.

This proverb indicates that wounds or bruises can provide spiritual and ethical benefits for the wise and that stern punishment is sometimes necessary for disciplinary and educational purposes. Therefore, in AGAPE love, the king or judicial authority, should not shy away from harsh sentencing since it will have a cleansing effect on both the individual and the community, cf. Prov 3:11f; 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13f; 25:11f; 29:15, 17; Heb 12:5-13.

If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to:

Lesson # 15-036, 15-039, 15-040

 

A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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