The Proverbs of Solomon (Proverbs 20)

Scripture Text:

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Proverbs 20


1. When you were a child, what was one forbidden activity? By whom were you caught? Why do you suppose you were always found out? Who told?

2. If you were promoting this chapter during a 10-second sneak preview TV commercial, which verse(s) would you use as a tease to attract an audience? Why?

3. “Personification” (where a thing is spoken of as a person) is another figure of speech we find in the proverbs. Where do you see it in this chapter? What is meant by a lamp being snuffed out (verse 20) or searching out (verse 27)?

4. Wisdom often gives insight into the deepest recesses of human nature, as in verses 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 25 – 27 and 30. How is it that wisdom is able to do this? What is it about inner secrets, guilty consciences, evil motives and rash vows that is susceptible to wisdom?

5. The moral wisdom of Proverbs not only permeates our inmost being, it directs us into the future. What is the end of . . .

  • the sluggard (verse 4)?
  • the children of the righteous (verse 7)?
  • the fraud (verses 10 and 17)?
  • the disrespectful son (verse 20)?
  • the prodigal son (verse 21)
  • the one who does not avenge himself (verse 22)?

6. How important is it to the Lord (and you) to keep a vow once it is made (verses 6, 16 and 25)? What will happen in each instance if you keep the vow? And if you don’t?

7. Who in your society draws out understanding (verse 24): the clergy? news reporters? lawyers? talk-show hosts? bartenders? counselors? wise political leaders?

8. Who in your life draws out understanding? To whom can you be this kind of person?

9. What kind of “security” is love (verses 6 and 28)? Why would it work for a king or other leader? Has it worked for you?

10. How would you answer the rhetorical question in verse 9?

11. How would these people answer the rhetorical question in verse 9?

  • Job (Job 14:4)
  • the psalmist (Psalm 24:4 and Psalm 119:9, 11)
  • the apostle Paul (Romans 3:23)

12. In our society, talk is cheap and jewels are expensive. How do you react to verse 15? Which would you honestly prefer: jewels or knowledge? What could you do (and can’t do) with each (see Proverbs 17:16)?

13. If even “a child is known by his actions” (verse 11), what does that say about a child’s character? About God’s character? Likewise, what can be known about you?

14. When does seeking advice (verse 18) become gossip (verse 19)? How do you decide just who you will trust? Who alone is worthy of your trust?

15. What is your “glory” (verse 29)? Or what glory do you want: gray hair? strength? cover-girl beauty? Olympic medal? kids? club trophy? How do you plan to attain your goal in this life (see verses 24 and 27)?



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