Howdy! Glad y’all took the time to read this post. Turn to Proverbs 12 and we will start in verse 1 and continue through verse 4. This is the same righteous vs. wicked as in Proverbs 11, but don’t just brush it off as such. Record what it says, a summary of the verse, and what you might be able to do to work on whatever it is, if you struggle with it. Record on verse 6, too.
Now, let’s look at verse 6 real quick. This is basically the same scenario as verse 5: The wicked are deceiving everyone, but the righteous are saving them from trouble.
I really want to cover verse 9, so let’s go there. It says: “Better to be a nobody and have a servant than to pretend to be somebody and have no food.”
There was a news story on KHOU talking about how a lady had a three story closet, with all these clothes and shoes and other items. Well, a few weeks later someone broke into her house and stole a lot of her stuff. He then reported to the police that her stuff that he stole was fake!
This is what I’m talking about, folks. She was pretending to be someone who she wasn’t really. She was pretending to have more than she could afford.
Now, verse 10 says this: “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” How cruel can the wicked be if their nicest acts are cruel? I don’t know about you, but I might be pointing fingers at a few. I have a story about that.
I was standing outside of our church with one of my friends; I’ll call him Ray. We were watching the little kids play red-light-green-light between services. There was one kid, who kept pointing out who had kept moving after they said “red light”. Then I said,“You know, that kid sure is quick to point out everyone else who is doing wrong, yet he never does wrong.” Then Ray said, “Yes, but that’s how we are sometimes. We’re no better talking about him now than if we were him!”
Anyway, back on track – let’s look at verse 13: “Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk, and so the innocent escape trouble.” Is this saying that while the evildoers are getting caught for what they did the righteous sneak off and don’t get caught? No. Let’s use this example: Have you ever been asked a question and lied? Of course you have. Now, have you ever told so many lies you can’t remember what you’ve said? If you have, you were most likely caught, right?
That’s what this is talking about. The righteous don’t have this issue, because they are always truthful.
Now I’m going to use the KJV for this one. Verse 15. This verse is great and is a big struggle for me. It reads: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto council is wise.” The cookie scenario is WAY overused, so I’m going to use this word: MONEY. Let’s say you’re home alone and you see a $1 bill on the couch. You stare at it, and before long you start debating with yourself. “The dollar would be going to good use,” you think. “They won’t miss it.” You take the $1.
You see? It seemed right in your eyes, but what should you have done? Gone to the Scriptures. Exodus 20:15 is VERY clear: do not steal.
Verse 18 now says this: “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” Notice it doesn’t say who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but it does say who doesn’t! So we can interpret that fools speak like a piercing sword. Now, what exactly does that mean? Well, again we look at the latter part of the verse to get the answer. When you talk with a mean voice tone, it does nothing to convey encouragement to the other(s).
Verse 22: “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD, but they that deal truly are His delight.” One of abomination’s synonyms is “hatred”. Lying is hated by the LORD. Think about it. Would you like your friends to swindle you? Of course not! So don’t you want to “hang out” with trustworthy friends?
Verse 24: “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.” What this is saying is that hard-working, diligent people get rewarded for the efforts, but lazy people have to suffer. Tribute basically means “high taxation”.
I really want to cover verse 25, so here it is: “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop; but a good word maketh it glad.” This goes hand in hand with verse 18. Heaviness of the heart can be caused by others, folks. You need to watch your tone of voice, plus your words. They can really make a difference on someone, whether good or bad.
Finally, verse 28. Do some journal/notebook work with this verse.
I hope this study has blessed you!