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Wednesday, June 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 12

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-28

Chapter 12

Whoso loves instruction loves knowledge: but he who hates reproof is brutish ( Proverbs 12:1 ).

And there's a lot in the Proverbs about instructing a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a fool and he will hate you. And a fool hateth instruction, and so forth. And the value of loving instruction, receiving instruction.

A good man obtains favor of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will be condemned by God. A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones ( Proverbs 12:2-4 ).

Now to understand what the virtuous woman is about, you'll have to turn to Proverbs 31:1-31 when you get home and read the description of the virtuous woman. She's a crown to her husband. What a blessing a good woman is. How thankful we are for these marvelous wives God has given us. They're a crown to her husband.

The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsel of the wicked is deceit. The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them. The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand ( Proverbs 12:5-7 ).

That is much like the third verse. Says it in a little different way.

A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised. He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honors himself, and is lacking bread ( Proverbs 12:8-9 ).

That's a very interesting proverb. There are those which honor themselves, which, of course, there are much about that, too. But he that is despised and has a servant, better off than the person who honors himself.

A righteous man regards the life of his beast ( Proverbs 12:10 ):

Kindness to animals, it a sign of a righteous man. A person who is cruel to an animal is really cruel to one of God's creatures, one of God's creation. So the righteous man regards the life of his beast.

but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he who follows vain persons is void of understanding ( Proverbs 12:10-11 ).

So if you're just sitting around town following vain persons, leaving your field go, you're void of understanding. But if you're out there working in your field, you're going to be satisfied with bread.

The wicked desires the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yields fruit. The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble. A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompense of a man's hand shall be rendered unto him. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes ( Proverbs 12:12-15 ):

You remember, "Instruct a fool and he'll hate you."

but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. A fool's wrath is presently known ( Proverbs 12:15-16 ):

They spout off their mouths. They just, you know, they let you know that they don't appreciate that. You presently know the fool's wrath. He doesn't try to hide it.

but a prudent man covereth shame ( Proverbs 12:16 ).

The prudent man, "Oh, let it go." But a fool's wrath is presently known.

He that speaks truth shows forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. There is that which speaks like the piercing of the sword ( Proverbs 12:17-18 ):

People can cut you to shreds with their words. Words can be devastating. So cutting. God help us not to have a sharp tongue. God help us not to use our tongue like a sword to cut people. But rather may our words be a balm, a healing agent, a comfort, lifting up one another. If you use your tongue as a cutting instrument, if you use your tongue to destroy others, then people are going to seek to defend themselves, and what you dish out is going to come back to you. People are going to start cutting you and chopping you if you're always chopping others. But if you will speak well of others and speak well to others, and it's just as easy to compliment a person as it is to cut them down. And there's probably just as much to be commended as there is to be condemned in any of us. There is another proverb, "There is so much bad in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us that it ill behooves any of us to talk of another."

My words can be used to build up. My words can be used to tear down. It seems that there are two types of people in the world. Those who are building up, those who are tearing down. Now when you're looking for a friend, which kind do you look for? You are drawn to and you look for the person who is constantly building up. You don't like to be around a person who's constantly tearing you down. You avoid them like the plague. But a person who is kind, a person who is gentle, a person who is complimentary, you enjoy being around those kind of people. So there are those who speak and their words are like the piercings of the sword.

but the tongue of the wise is health ( Proverbs 12:18 ).

It's building. It's edifying.

The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment ( Proverbs 12:19 ).

Truth will endure. A lie might serve for a moment, but you'll get caught.

Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counselors of peace is joy. There shall no evil happen to the just ( Proverbs 12:20-21 ):

Now, that is in the final judgment.

but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD ( Proverbs 12:21-22 ):

There are many things that are an abomination to the Lord, and you should take your concordance and run this word abomination and find out how many things are an abomination to the Lord. A proud look is an abomination to the Lord, a lying tongue ( Proverbs 6:17 ), a false balance ( Proverbs 11:1 ). These things are an abomination to God.

Now I surely don't want to be doing anything that's an abomination to God. I don't want to find my life an abomination unto Him. So it would be wise to follow this through in your concordance and find out how many things and what things are an abomination to God so you can avoid them. "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord."

but they that deal truly are his delight. A prudent man conceals knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaims his foolishness. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under taxes. Heaviness in the heart of a man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad. The righteous is more excellent than his neighbor: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. The slothful man [or the lazy man] does not roast that which he killed when he was hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious ( Proverbs 12:22-27 ).

The Bible, more or less, condemns the hunting for just the joy of hunting. Hunting to eat, yes. But, "The slothful man doesn't roast that which he took hunting."

In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death ( Proverbs 12:28 ).

Now Jesus said, "He who lives and believes in Me shall never die" ( John 11:26 ). Here we are told, "In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death." Then how do we explain what happens to those who live and believe in Jesus Christ who have lived a righteous life? If Jesus said, "He who lives and believes in Me shall never die," I must accept that, that that is true. Then if they have not died, what has happened to them?

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:1-21 , "For we know that when this earthly tent (our body) is dissolved, we have a building of God that is not made with hands, that is eternal in the heavens. So then we who are living in these bodies do often groan, earnestly desiring to be freed from these bodies. Not that we would be an unembodied spirit, but that we might be clothed upon with the body which is from heaven. For we know that as long as we are living and are at home in this body, we are absent from the Lord. But we would choose rather to be absent from this body and to be present with the Lord" ( 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 )).

There is no death. What is there? There is a metamorphosis, a change of body, where my spirit moves from this tent into what Jesus said was a mansion. "In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I'm going to prepare a place for you. And if I prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also" ( John 14:2-3 ).

So one day my spirit is going to be freed from this tent, from this house. And it will move into a new building that God has been preparing for me. "A building of God that is not made with hands, that is eternal in the heavens." And even as God designed this body to exist upon the planet Earth and to exist within the environmental aspects that are on the planet Earth, so God has made another body for me that is designed for the environmental conditions of heaven. This body is not made as an eternal dwelling place. This body is decaying. The tent is getting old. Getting ragged. Beginning to leak. So we who are in these tents do often groan, earnestly desiring to move out. Tired of trying to patch it. Keep it clean. Move into that new building of God. What a contrast! "Not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

The new body I have is a permanent model. And even as I've borne the image of the earth and have been earthy, I'm going to bear the image of the heavens. My new model. I can hardly wait to see the new model. I'm interested in all the gadgets that it must have, so far superior to this. And yet, this body is... not to degrade this. The body is a marvelous instrument. Absolutely phenomenal all of the capacities that God has built into the human body. But yet, that new model that God has for me, vastly superior. This model in which I'm living is designed and restricted to one place-the earth and the environs around the earth. The new model, take it anywhere.

If I want to go sit on the sun for a while, surely God can design a body that could exist on the sun. There would really be no bigger problems in designing a body to exist on the sun than there would be to design one to exist on the earth. After all, He's the Master Designer. The new body, building of God, eternal in the heavens.

So there is no death. It's wrong to say of a Christian, "Oh, he died last week." You should rather say, "Oh, he moved last week, didn't you hear? He moved out of that crummy old tent. He's living now in a beautiful new mansion, a building of God not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 12". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/proverbs-12.html. 2014.
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