Proverbs 20:10-23 (ESV)
10 Unequal weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
11 Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
the LORD has made them both.
13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15 There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
18 Plans are established by counsel;
by wise guidance wage war.
19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
20 If one curses his father or his mother,
his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21 An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.
23 Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD,
and false scales are not good.
Day 1: Loving God
Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both.” How would our lives look different if we really lived with the fear of the LORD, who is all-hearing and all-seeing. How would it transform the way we speak in the privacy of our homes? How would it transform the things we watch on our TVs or computer screens? How would it transform the way we work or study when no one else is looking? How would it undercut our self-righteousness if we really understood that our hearts are laid bare before God?
- Remember and thank God for Jesus and His saving work on the cross.
- Tell God the ways in which you have been unjustly treated, and ask God for the humility and faith to entrust the situation to Him.
- Confess the ways in which you have lied, cheated, or defrauded others.
- Pray that you might grow in the fear of the LORD, so that you are more self-controlled and restrained in your speech toward others (vv. 19-20).
- Pray that you might cherish God’s Word more than gold and costly stones (v. 15).
Day 2: Loving One Another
Proverbs 20:18 says, “Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.” In the spiritual warfare we are in as well (Eph. 6:10-20), we need the encouragement and counsel of other members of the body of Christ (1 Thess. 5:11-12). Are you accountable to a local church? Are there believers who are regularly speaking the truth in love to you?
As in any community, gossip and slander can destroy relationships. Proverbs 20:19 says, “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.” It is not enough that we ourselves do not slander or babble, we are also exhorted not to associate with them for the sake of protecting others’ reputation.
- Confess the ways in which you have spoken or listened to gossip and slander without. Ask God to help you grow in integrity in all your communications with others.
- Pray for opportunities to encourage and exhort a brother or sister in the church today.
- Pray that God would help the new members being inducted on Sunday (9/27) to be deeply integrated into our local church family.
- Pray for a long-term, suitable, affordable meeting space for our church.
Day 3: Loving Our Neighbors
In this upside-down world, fools often get their way. People use “unequal weights and unequal measures” (Prov. 20:10, 23). But Proverbs 20:22 teaches us, “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.” Even when we are not fairly acknowledged for our contributions at work, even when we are cheated by others in various commercial dealings, even when we are treated unjustly, we can trust in the all-hearing and all-seeing God who will execute His justice in the end.
Jesus exemplified this for us, and we are to follow in his footsteps. 1 Peter 2:21-23 says, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” Christ suffered unjustly so that we might be saved, and we, likewise, are to leave vengeance to the LORD and love our enemies.
- Pray that God would increase our love for our neighbors, so that we count their salvation of greater value than “getting our rights.”
- Pray that God’s righteousness, justice, and peace would prevail in our city and nation’s economy, society, and public policy.
- Pray that God would use our Alpha Course, which started in July 13th, to bring people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ through it.
- Pray for revival in Cambridge/Boston and New England, that the Spirit of God would move powerfully in our region.