The Proverbs dispense wisdom sentence by sentence. Today we’ll work through Part 1 of a diverse collection of thoughts from Proverbs 12.
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“Proverbs 12” Part 1
- The Proverbs are a great place to spend time
- They dispense wisdom sentence by sentence
- They address the practical things of life and tell us what God has to say about them
- They are brief, but deep
- Well-known, but worth returning to again and again
- Today we’ll work through a diverse collection of thoughts from Proverbs 12
- Let’s get right into our text
1 Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
- The word for instruction here means discipline, chastening, or correction
- While not always enjoyable
- This may be the most permanent kind of instruction we receive
- And the man who genuinely loves to be prompted back to the right path
- Because he knows this is the best path for him, really learns
- He obtains the knowledge he needs
- He’s better off
- But the man that hates reproof (this is reproof or chastisement)
- That is, he resists it, avoids it, refuses to learn from it
- Is “brutish” – this is the same word for stupid or foolish
- He learns nothing
- He is always worse off
2 A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
- What kind of man is this “good” man?
- He is pleasant and agreeable
- He is good in the broadest sense of the word
- His goodness gains “favour”
- That is, he delights the Lord
- Of course, we know that goodness is “of” the Lord
- He empowers His people to have it
- But when we learn to obey, perhaps from the chastening we heard about in verse 1, we delight Him
- But a man who is crafty and mischievous, in an evil way, He condemns
3 A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
- The ERV may help us to understand this verse, it says…
“Evil people are never safe, but good people remain safe and secure.”
- There is danger in wickedness
- Doing wrong complicates life
- It brings uncertainty and hardship
- While righteousness, doing God’s will, provides a solid foundation
4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
- Relationships are tremendously important
- Between husband and wife – the most important
- The character of our spouse will make such a profound difference to us
- If they are Godly, all of our lives will be better
- A woman of virtue will be a crown to her husband
- But a shameful wife is like a cancer
- Her shameful behavior will only harm
5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
- Before we can take the advice of any man, we must know his character
- Men who do right – who do God’s will – have good judgement
- They can tell us what is right
- But guidance we receive from the wicked will be questionable
- Wicked men are prone to deception – they cannot be trusted
6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
- The ERV may come in handy to explain this verse too…
“Evil people use their words to hurt others, but the words from good people can save others from danger.”
- We all know people that use words to hurt
- This comes from something broken inside a man
- But men who know God – who are yielded to God – can build up
- Instead of harming and endangering us, they help
7 The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.
- A man can obtain wealth and power and comfort in life, but if he is evil, he is not safe
- The foundations beneath him are shaky
- We know for certain his character will not stand up to scrutiny
- And he is bound for destruction
- Those that are amongst the righteous
- Who have a relationship with God
- Will have a legacy
- They will stand
- If God has saved them by grace through faith, they will live with Him eternally
- This is as safe and secure as any man can ever be
8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
- The word here for commend is “shine”
- The wise man shines
- Someone with prudence, insight, and understanding stands out
- But there are others who have a twisted inner man
- They are bound by sin – a slave to it
- And they will gather to themselves contempt
9 He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
- This is the way the ERV says it…
“It is better to appear unimportant and have a servant than to pretend to be important and have no food.”
- The person who “keeps up appearances” can make himself poor
- The things he buys to maintain his reputation bankrupt him – financially and spiritually
- Perhaps the man who has no reputation
- The man who makes no name for himself has just enough
- Or even more than enough
10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
- Men of righteous character have regard for others
- They are not just thinking about themselves
- They are concerned for man and beast
- Their cattle, their domestic animals are cared for
- They don’t neglect their responsibilities toward God’s creatures
- There are others, though, than can never muster better than cruelty
- The best of their behavior is cruelty
11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
- The man who works hard in the field eats
- Someone wrapped up with vanity
- Wasting their time on things of no value have no understanding
- His pursuit of these worthless things will cost him
- They reveal he has little sense
- He may go hungry
12 The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
- Theft and ill-gotten gain can be tempting
- And the wicked man may want what someone else gains dishonestly
- But it is the man who does right and works hard that yields the most
- In the long-term it is right – never wrong – that pays
13 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
- The evil man has such a hard time guarding his tongue
- It is always giving him away and revealing what is inside of him
- This ensnares him
- His own mouth sets traps
- But those who do right and tell the truth remove themselves from trouble
14 A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him.
- This is a good principle
- The ERV helps us to understand…
“People get good things for the words they say, and they are rewarded for the work they do.”
- If we follow God, do His will, trust Him, and do the hard work that He requires, we will see fruit for our labors
- He is a good father and gives good things
- Speaking and doing right are their own reward
- But there is often an abundant blessing for those who are consistent in them
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
- We know people who have all the answers
- People who are always right
- This is the way of fools – always right
- But the wise man acts in quite a different way
- He listens to others
- He knows that he doesn’t know everything
- Others know more
- Have seen what he hasn’t seen
- Have done what he hasn’t done
- And can help
- He listens to them
- And does what they say