In this chapter we again find a large number of proverbs using God’s personal covenant name, Yahweh. There are also many proverbs that refer to Israel’s king (verses 2, 8, 26, 28). Therefore, we find strong themes of divine authority and justice along with the wisdom found in this chapter. Wisdom becomes even more desirable when you realize you are under the watchful eye of God and the king.
This chapter emphasizes showing wisdom with our words. We see that hasty words, empty words, and harmful speech have serious repercussions. Therefore, choose your words carefully. As you go through this chapter, pay close attention to verses 6, 9, 11, 14, 19, 20, 22, and 25. Ask yourself how your words might be viewed in the eyes of God and those in authority over you.
Lastly, have you noticed that the further we get into the sayings of Solomon, the more sophisticated the wisdom? Many of these sayings read like riddles— their meaning doesn’t lie on the surface. You have to pause and ponder the words and the mysteries of life to which they point. You may want to take more time to sit with chapter 20 as you discover its wisdom.