Proverbs 12:5-12

In Proverbs 12:5-12 Solomon begins by reminding us that the righteous man or woman is not only right in their actions, but even in their thoughts. They know something of what it means to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. “The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful”. Those who are not righteous are filled with deceit, deception and error.  The wicked wait to destroy for their own gain.  But the upright gives good and wise words that rescue them from evil. “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them”.

Solomon is clear that the wicked will lose the battle.  In life, we may lose once in a while but we know who wins the war.  Having no root in righteousness, the wicked cannot and will not stand. They will one day be overthrown and simply perish. “The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand”. In contrast, God will protect the righteous.  They will endure and stand against anything that comes at them. Wise men and women will be recognized and honored for their wisdom. “A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised”. The one who has a twisted or crooked mind will be despised.

Solomon calls out the power of being a servant.  It is servant leadership that will be rewarded.  It may not always be appreciated by those around a servant leader, but God certainly sees and knows. “Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread”.  The proud man who is focused on himself will never lead to happiness or prosperity.  Solomon then changes focus to how we treat animals.  It may see different, but it actually is very much connected.  A righteous man respects all life, and we should care and show compassion to all animals.  “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel”. Those who are wicked will be cruel to things lowly to themselves just like Satan is.

Hard work generates God’s bless and allows one to enjoy the fruits of their labor. “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense”. But the one who lives for worthless things and wastes his time and effort will be lacking.  Swinnock wrote “The proud person is Satan’s throne, and the idle man his pillow. He sits in the former and sleeps quietly on the latter.” The wicked will covet what others have and never be satisfied with their own. “Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit”. God’s righteous men and woman don’t need to covet that owned by evil men, because they are like fruit bearing trees. This comes from their very root, from who they are.

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