Proverbs 20:8-14

Proverbs 20:8‑14  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Here we have maxims laid down from the king on his throne down to the commonest trickery of life in everyday transactions, with moral cautions salutary to all.
“A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin?
Divers weights (a stone and a stone), divers measures (an ephah and an ephah), both of them [are] alike abomination to Jehovah.
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work [be] pure, and whether right.
The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, Jehovah made even both of them.
Love not sleep lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes—thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
Naught, naught, saith the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth” (vers. 8-14).
If ever there was a king sitting on the throne, whose eyes in large measure scattered away all evil, it was he who wrote these words in the Spirit. Yet we have the sad tale of failure, so characteristic of man, and his eyes at length sanctioning evil most dishonoring to Jehovah and destructive to Israel. But He that inspired Solomon has ever a greater in view. “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.” The time hastens.
Righteous souls may and do meanwhile groan; but they murmur not, still less resist the power, which is God's ordinance, nor plead conscience to evade law, but contrariwise are willing to suffer in obeying God. They know what man's state is, and that none can truly say, I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin. Their boast is in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom they now received the reconciliation.
But there is no excuse for cheating; against which high and low, poor and rich, yea, and dishonest no less than honest, exclaim loudly. What is more than all, such deliberate roguery is an abomination to Jehovah, who is infinitely removed from all selfish feeling.
Evil may for a time be hidden under many a plea or cloak. But good needs no commendation. Even a child is known by his doings: a pure or a right work is plain.
The hearing ear is a wonderfully beneficent mechanism, the seeing eye of still wider scope for the race in matters of this life. How humbling is the unbelief of the would-be wise who try to persuade themselves and others that Jehovah made neither! Even a heathen like Galen felt and confessed that the hand which made them was divine. If Gnosticism is impious pride, Agnosticism is man sinking to the brute, yet boastful withal.
If man has no heart to thank God for his rest by night, and to seek His guidance and blessing by day, the very sun that performs His bidding calls man to go forth to his work till the evening, as much as he chases the beasts of the forest into their dens. To be an idler, a sleeper, during the hours of light, is to court poverty. To open one's eyes fittingly, i.e. for work, is to be satisfied with bread. None needs to beg if in earnest.
How low is the effort to deceive the seller by depreciation! How false to boast of the mean advantage, if it succeed (ver. 14)! But such are the ways of covetousness, as common a snare as can be found for the heart of man, and most hateful to the God of all grace.