-The person who loves discipline loves knowledge, but stupid is the person who hates getting reproof. A good man will obtain his favor from the LORD, and he will stand up to condemn a man who devises evil. Wickedness never establishes people, but the root of the righteous will not be moved. An excellent wife is the prestigious crown of her husband, but a woman that shames her man is as rottenness to his bones. The way that the righteous think is just, but beware the counsels of the wicked. They are deceitful, or deceptive. The words of the evil ones lie in wait for blood (meaning ruthless vengeance or violence), but the mouth of the upright will deliver them. When the wicked are overthrown, they are no more. However, the house of the righteous will stand through all sorts of turmoil. A person will be praised according to how much insight they have, but one who has a perverse mind will be despised. “Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant (helper), than he who honors himself (a selfish individual) and lacks bread.” And then, Solomon even speaks of animals, “A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the compassion of the wicked is cruel (Proverbs 12:1-10).”
-The man, or woman, who works their field hard will have plenty of bread (or product), but the ones pursuing vain things lack good-common sense. The wicked desires the loot, or booty, of evil men (I’m thinking pirates here 😊), but the root of the righteous yields better fruit. An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous know how to escape trouble because they have the Lord on their side. A person will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his/her productive words, and the works of good person’s hands will return to them. The way of a fool is only right in his own eyes, but a wise man will listen to others’ good counsel. A fool’s vexation (ka`ac- anger, provocation, grief, vexation, frustration) is known all of a sudden, but on the other hand, a prudent man conceals dishonor. The wise man doesn’t let the situation get to him and let it frazzle him in other words. A foolish man loses control when things aren’t going his way would be another way of putting it. Shall we say, temper tantrum? The one telling the truth is telling what is right, but a false witness spreads deceit. “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword (violent-purposeful aggression), but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Truthful lips will be established permanently, but a lying tongue is only for that moment. Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil plots and plans; on the other side, counselors of peace have joy. No harm will generally come upon the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble all the time. To lie is an abomination before the LORD, but those who deal faithfully and honestly are His delight. A prudent man wisely conceals knowledge, but the heart of a fool proclaims folly serendipitously. The hand of the diligent will make him a leader with ruling qualities, but the slack will end up being put to forced labor. “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” The righteous guide and direct their neighbors in the right path, but the way of the wicked leads them wondering and astray. A slothful person does not roast (charak- ensnare, catch) his prey, but diligence is the precious possession of a person. In short, Solomon says that righteousness is the way to life “and in its pathway there is no death (spiritually speaking, Proverbs 12:11-28).”
-*Application* Again we see so many topics for application in this chapter. We should meditate on these principles and actualize them in our lives. Reproof is an interesting thought for me personally today. Many spurn reproof, but it is important to learn from our mistakes and thank those who correct us. Let’s break down that word for a moment. Proof- is like a scientific term indicating an absolute, empirical truth. Re- means doing it over and again. In life, we need people in authority over us who will give us the truth and the facts over and over again when we mess up and fail. Learn to love reproof. Remember, loving discipline is loving knowledge. When it comes to obtaining favor from the LORD, be a hero, be the good guy. We’ve heard it said that is any troubling situation there are perpetrators, bystanders, and victims. Let me introduce the ideal forth type of person, heroes. These are those who selflessly and willfully go into a situation to right it. They stand for the ways of God and dispense justice, like any superhero of our vivid imaginations in art or history. There are many other applicational thoughts available here in this passage: pure speech, diligence, gentleness, and encouragement just to name a few. Process what we can, and we’ll keep growing in wisdom.
Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 12:1, 4-5, 8, 18, 25, 28