Proverbs 20 10-20-20

Nobody likes to be disciplined. It chafes our self-image. But, if we want to be like Christ, get ready for it!

30 Blows and wounds scrub away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.

Most of us tend to have a double standard when it comes to how we judge other people and then ourselves (we’re a lot easier on ourselves!). The problem is that God knows our hearts! There are ELEVEN different references in this single chapter concerning God knowing our intentions and disciplining us. They are:

A king’s [our King’s] wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion;
    those who anger him forfeit their lives [God takes over our lives].

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters [it’s complicated], but one who has insight [God] draws them out [helps us to sort out our feelings].

When a king [our King] sits on his throne to judge,
    he winnows out all evil with his eyes [helps us to discern].

10 Differing weights and differing measures [our double standards]—
    the Lord detests them both.

12 Ears that hear and eyes that see [how we interpret what we hear and see]—the Lord has made them both [and knows what we hear and see].

22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
    Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you [leave the disciplining to God].

23 The Lord detests differing weights [again, our double standards],
    and dishonest scales do not please him.

24 A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way [God knows the intent of our hearts]?

26 A wise king [our King] winnows out the wicked; he drives the threshing wheel over them [separating the bad from the good in our lives–painfully!].

27 The human spirit is [scrutinized by] the lamp of the Lord
    that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

30 Blows and wounds scrub away evil [from our souls], and beatings purge the inmost being [discipline hurts; we can be slow learners].
“Strike me; it is a kindness…” Psalm 141:5

If you’re like me, you probably read over these pretty quickly. I hope you noticed the notes in brackets. They help us place the verses in context to our lives today. There is one more verse that I want us to read today:

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

  1. Discipline/painful- it’s never pleasant, so if you are not enjoying where God has you right now, just know that you are in the right place–as long as we work to learn the lesson in the discipline. Otherwise, we are bound to repeat it, but with higher stakes and greater consequences!
  2. Later on…- In this phrase lies our hope. We can trust our LORD to bring about His righteousness in us. He wants us to be holy. Like Him. In fact, He is making us to be holy, just like Him! (See the Song of Zechariah)
  3. Produces- This word indicates that there is a product that the LORD wants to see as a result of our discipline. What is that product?
  4. A harvest- Jesus refers to a harvest in the Sower and the Soils (Mark 4:3-8). He is letting us know that it’s not a 1:1 ratio, but a 1:30, 1:60, 1:100 ratio! This is GOOD news. We will bear much fruit.
  5. Righteousness and peace- These are the harvest that Jesus wants to produce in our lives. He gives us righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) and peace (John 14:27)!
  6. Trained by it- “it” being discipline.

What ARE some of the disciplines of the LORD? We will deal with THAT question tomorrow!

Abba, I pray for my readers that today they will perceive and understand that whatever discipline You are using in their lives is for their good and Your glory. As we become more like Jesus, we bring You glory! I love the verse 2 Corinthians 3:18, which says, “And we…are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory [for You], which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” It’s all for You, heavenly Father. YOU are the One we praise. Amen.

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