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Proverbs 20:1-15

Talks for Growing Christians

Wisdom in Sobriety

Proverbs 20:1-15

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Lesson Number 31

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.

Practical Application

  1. Praise God, Proverbs 20:9 is not the end of the line!

Questions

  1. Under the Mosaic Law, was the drinking of alcoholic beverages prohibited? Identify Old and New Testament Scriptures that provide guidance in this matter.
  2. When does the rainy season come to Israel? When is the plowing and crop-planting season? How do the answers to these questions help us understand the teaching of the proverb in verse 4?
  3. How do the lessons from the proverbs in verse 10 and verse 14 complement each other?

Answers

  1. Under the Mosaic Law, partaking of an alcoholic drink was not prohibited, as is clear from Deuteronomy 14:26. However, drinking too much and becoming drunk is prohibited, as taught here in verse 1 and in Ephesians 5:18.
  2. The rainy season in Israel is normally during the winter months, and it is during this season that fields are plowed and the crop seeds are planted. This schedule helps insure a good spring harvest. This helps us understand the sluggard’s resistance to working in the fields in the cold, rainy season. His lack of work will result in little, if any harvest, and he will have to beg to survive.
  3. Using deceptive means to increase profits in business (or any other) dealings is an abomination to the Lord (v 10), and to use deceptive means to wrongly influence another person in their business dealings is despicable as well (v 14).

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss the concerns for believers today as they set guidelines in their lives regarding the use of alcoholic beverages. Consider the many temptations present in our culture and the excesses of alcohol use among many of the people that believers encounter daily. Discuss the means to establish accountability among the people in your group or church.

Challenge

  1. Are you experiencing a time of turning further away from God because of the sin in your life? Has the impurity that you see in your heart caused you to feel that you are beyond His forgiveness? Be assured that God, by His grace, has provided a way of salvation even for you, through His son, Jesus Christ. By simply believing and receiving Christ as your personal Savior, your sins can and will be forgiven, and you will be made clean and pure.

Key Verses

  • “Most men will proclaim their own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?” Proverbs 20:6
  • There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.” Proverbs 20:15

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