January 21, 2019

If I could use a one word title for the 20th chapter of Proverbs it would be “Afterward”. Much of Proverbs 20 is about getting us to think about what happens after we do or say certain things: the afterward. What is the result of our actions or words?

Proverbs 20:1 (NLT) — 1 Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.

This is what usually happen to someone who misuses alcohol. So one should think before they take there first drink; what is this going to lead to? Am I a person of self control or do I usually go all in when I find something I like? Do I have an addictive personality? When I get down and discouraged what or who do I turn to for help? Am I the person who says, “It’ll never happen to me”? What is the history of alcohol use in my family? What example do I want to pass on to my children? Is what I am about to do worth it in the long run?

It is always wise to think about the ‘afterward’ before you do or say something.

Proverbs 20:2 (NLT) — 2 The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar; to rouse his anger is to risk your life.

Think about how you are going to answer or treat people in authority. Treat people in authority with respect. They may not deserve respect but respect the title that they hold. First the roar and then the violence.

Proverbs 20:3 (NLT) — 3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.

We can’t avoid all conflict but one should look for a way to end it quickly. See how many fights you can stay out of instead of how many fights you can win. You may win a battle but lose a friend or a spouse or a job for life. Many a parent has won a battle but lost their kids. I know a father who won many battles with his daughters but today none of those daughters are living for Jesus. Are you willing to live with the ‘afterward’?

Proverbs 20:4 (NLT) — 4 Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.

What is the outcome of being lazy when it comes to working on your marriage, your parenting skills? Are the results of neglecting to know the Lord worth it when tragedy strikes? If you are lazy about saving now how will life be when you are older and want to cut back or are unable to work? Laziness may be appealing but it can’t fill an empty stomach or bring back your spouse or look good on a resume. Thinking about the ‘afterward’ is quite important isn’t it; so don’t be lazy when it comes to thinking about the ‘afterward’. Remember the old saying, “The early bird gets the worm and the late bird gets what’s left.”

Proverbs 20:6 (NLT) — 6 Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?

‘Liable’ means that people will do what they say and ‘re’ come from a Latin word and it means that they do it over and over and over. In other words they can be counted on. Their word is their bond. If they say that they are loyal then they are truly loyal. These kind of faithful people are difficult to find but it is worth it to never settle for less. Many people have found out that a spouse wasn’t reliable when it came to honoring the wedding vows, or a friend wasn’t reliable when she said she would pay back the borrowed money by the end of the month. Remember ‘afterward’.

I will look at some more of the verses in this chapter tomorrow. Read this chapter with the ‘afterward’ in mind and see what you come up with in the verses. Feel free to comment on what you came up with on these 5 that we looked at today.

Be Inspired Hilltop!