Proverbs Devotional Experience

Proverbs 20

Solomon jumps right into the chapter condemning four vices.

A. Contentious effects of alcohol (1)

  B. Offending a leader (2)

    C. Strife (3)

      D. Laziness (4)

Next, Solomon moves to proverbs dealing with discernment and integrity (5-12).

A. Real motives are deep (5)

  B. Loyalty is rare (6)

    C. Loyalty produces generational blessing (7)

    C. Good leadership produces generational blessing (8)

  B. Integrity is rare (9)

Notice that the five proverbs above beg the reader to discern the rarity, blessing, and essential nature of integrity.

We come now to a section of proverbs written between two bookends—verse 10, where it is stated the Lord detests double standards, and verse 23, where the Lord is displeased with dishonest scales. Solomon is wishing for these proverbs to regarded in light of the subject matter of the two bookends.

A. Double standards (10)

  B. Conduct proves character (11)

    C. Cautious judgment is essential for success (12)

      D. Love of ease leads to poverty (13)

        E. Don't deceive to gain a bargain (14)

        E. Wise words are the real bargain (15)

        E. Deposits are a bargain from people of poor character (16)

        E. Stolen goods are cursed bargains (17)

      D. Love of planning leads to success (18)

    C. Cautious sharing is essential to success (19)

  B. Honor proves character 20

    C. Cautiously gained inheritance is a gift from God (21)

  B. Waiting on God to vindicate proves character (22)

A. Dishonest scales (23)

Finally, Solomon ends this chapter by defining how a king is to lead.

 A. Let Yahweh provide the guidance (24)

B. Treat a promise as irrevocable (25)

  C. Separate the wicked from the good (26)

    D. Expose your motives to Yahweh (27)

      E. Grace and truth preserve the leader (28)

        F. Accumulate wisdom with age (29)

          G. Discipline disciplines the heart (30)