Proverbs 12 (Part 2)

The Proverbs dispense wisdom sentence by sentence. Today we’ll work through Part 2 of a diverse collection of thoughts from Proverbs 12.

Play or download this episode of the Take Note Podcast using the player, or read its transcript below.

“Proverbs 12” Part 2

Proverbs 12:16-28

  • As we mentioned in Part 1, the Proverbs are a valuable 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 the second half of Proverbs 12
  • Let’s get right into our text

Proverbs 12:16

16  A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.

  • A fool reacts with anger and frustration when he is confronted
  •  But the man who is prudent ignores an insult
  • Both men may be insulted, only one strikes back in wrath
  • And whatever may be happening inside these men
  • Whether they are feeling hurt or angry or sad is known
  • For the prudent man, it is known only to him and God
  • But for the foolish man, everyone around may know!

Proverbs 12:17

17  He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. 

  • Truth-speaking is the province of the righteous
  • This is what righteous people do
  • The ESV phrases the verse this way…

“Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit.”

  • If a witness is needed in a court of law, everyone involved desires a credible witness
  • No jury can be expected to determine the truth by listening to deceitful witnesses
  • They want people to tell them exactly what was seen and heard with no hint of dishonesty
  • Essentially, they are looking for righteousness – rightness

Proverbs 12:18

18  There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

  • When some people speak, they seem only to harm
  • Their words are like sword thrusts
  • Perhaps they harm others because their own lives are so filled with damage
  • (Probably as the result of sin)
  • Or perhaps they do so out of pride, because they think they are better
  • Whatever the case, the wise are not so
  • They speak health
  • They are skilled in words of healing
  • They have enough grace and enough kindness in their speech to build up, rather than harm

Proverbs 12:19

19  The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

  • There is no end-point for truth
  • Truth – in the form of God’s word – will endure forever
  • Anything that is true endures for the long-term
  • What was true when Adam was created is still true
  • Lies may endure for a period
  • We may be fooled into believing lies have become truth, but this is an illusion
  • Deceit is but for a moment
  • Lies will be exposed one day
  • God is never confused – He knows the difference
  • He sees everything with clarity

Proverbs 12:20

20  Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy. 

  • A man may plan to do something wrong, hoping to get a good outcome for himself
  • This is a myth
  • He is deceived
  • Trouble and ultimately destruction is the final outcome
  • But those who work for peace
  • Who make plans that promote peace
  • Whether than be the absence of conflict with God or men
  • Or a tranquil state of spirit
  • Live a life of joy

Proverbs 12:21

21  There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. 

  • The ESV says it this way…

“No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.”

  • Those who know God and follow God and trust Him are protected
  • He is our tower and our hiding place
  • He watches over those that are His
  • The wicked live a troubled life
  • Their behavior brings danger and hardship and confusion
  • They cast aside God’s protection
  • Their rebellion puts them outside His protective boundaries

Proverbs 12:22

22  Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. 

  • An “abomination” is something that is unclean or impure
  • The word is used often to describe those who worship idols
  • It is moral abhorrence
  • Those who lie makes themselves impure before Him
  • He hates a lying tongue
  • On the other hand, He delights in those that tell the truth
  • Honesty is right
  • He is pleased with truth-telling

Proverbs 12:23

23  A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness. 

  • We know people, maybe we are the kind of people, that tell everything we know
  • This is not a good trait
  • Foolish people, speak foolishly
  • They speak at the wrong time, have the wrong attitude, speak to the wrong people
  • They use poor judgement in their selection of words
  • Say things that ought not to be said
  • Go on too long
  • Raise their voices or speak in a whisper
  • Reveal private things publicly
  • Speculate, accuse, or take wild guesess
  • This is not pleasing to God
  • Prudent men do none of this
  • They wait to speak
  • They gather the facts
  • They make sure whatever they say needs to be said
  • They have regard for the feelings of others, speaking appropriately
  • And they leave out information that ought to be left out

Proverbs 12:24

24  The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. 

  • Those who work hard and make good choices are selected for leadership positions
  • They are respected, well-regarded by those around them
  • When responsibilities are being handed out they receive a share
  • They can be trusted with things that matter
  • There is evidence they won’t let people down
  • Those who are slothful, lazy, without a proper work ethic, are the opposite
  • They will borrow and be slave to the lender
  • They will not have enough, because they have not worked enough
  • They are not looking for a hand-up, but rather a hand-out
  • They want something for nothing
  • This will mean hardship in life

Proverbs 12:25

25  Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. 

  • The heaviness of anxiety weighs a man down
  • The man who worries stoops
  • It is like a heavy weight upon him
  • The good news is that a hopeful word, a kind word lightens that load
  • When someone else speaks a good word to us, our hearts are lifted

Proverbs 12:26

26  The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.

  • I wasn’t sure about how to understand this verse a first
  • The ESV helped, it says…

“One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

  • A neighbor – a good neighbor – helps to guide others
  • He desires to (and indeed does) lead them in the right direction
  • Left on their own, the wicked go astray
  • They need neighbors to help
  • Neighbors that are Godly
  • That have embraced God’s word and God’s path
  • Otherwise they become lost on the broad road

Proverbs 12:27

27  The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious. 

  • The slothful man may have enough enterprise to go hunting, but he is too lazy to cook the meat
  • He lets things go to waste
  • He is presumptuous about getting more food tomorrow
  • Maybe he hunts just to make others think he provides for his family, then he lets the meat rot
  • There is a totally different attitude in the diligent man
  • He believes all the fruit of the hunt is precious
  • He lets nothing (or very little) go to waste
  • He makes no assumption about how successful his hunt will be tomorrow
  • He plans to make all he can out of what he has today

Proverbs 12:28

28  In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

  • If we are following the righteous pathway – God’s pathway – it has a sure end
  • That end is eternal life
  • It is life in heaven with Him
  • He has provided a Savior in Jesus Christ
  • And it is through Him (and Him alone) that we have life

Download the “Proverbs 12” Part 2 PDF

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