Proverbs 12:13-20

In Proverbs 12:13-20 Solomon continues to discuss the difference between good and evil.  What an evil person says eventually get him into trouble. It will become a snare he his trapped in. “An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble”. A righteous person, on the other hand, controls his tongue and avoids those issues.  A righteous man finds blessing comes to his life by what he says. His good, kind, and encouraging words will bring life to himself and others. “From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him”. A man will reap what he has wored for, whether it be for good or evil. God’s judgments are true and fitting.

Solomon gives us more wisdom around being a fool. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice”. The fool almost always thinks they are on the right path. It is difficult for them to think carefully and accurately about the path of their life. The wise man understands the value of counsel and does not look only to what is right in his own eyes. The wise person also understands that is helpful to get another set of “eyes” on one’s way. Wise folks also don’t react to what someone says. “The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult”. The fool does not have the self-control to wait and let the immediate anger pass before making a response. The fool does most things out of impulse without thought.

Solomon moves on to talk about honesty versus deceit.  The words of the wise are filled with truth and therefore reflect God’s righteousness. “Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit”. The false witness doesn’t speak the truth, and promotes deceit instead of righteousness. He goes on to talk about the power of the tongue.  Some people have the destructive ability to speak in a manner that stabs and slices others. Their words are like the slashing and piercings of a sword, bringing hurt instead of healing. “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing”. Wise men are able to bring health and healing from the words they speak.

The truth always wins.  God looks after those who love the truth and speak the truth. Under His blessing, they will be established forever. “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment”. Liars have quite a different fate. It often seems that the lying tongue wins the day and is stronger than the truthful lip. But the judgments of the God of truth will show how temporary the success of the lying tongue is. It will be much like deceit that will only have fleeing success. “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy”. There is a happiness and contentment (joy) that comes to those who speak words of peace.

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