Monday, March 30, 2009
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. Proverbs 12:1-2
The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them. Proverbs 12:5-6
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 recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him. Proverbs 12:13-14
The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy. There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. Proverbs 12:19-22
This entire chapter 12 of Proverbs is comparing two types of people. The first is a righteous man (or woman). Let's list the characteristics of the righteous person.
1. Loves instruction - Means that not only will you take instruction but you have a great desire to have instruction, even if it hurts to take it. Because you know that the reward for taking instruction is knowledge from God about godly things.
2. Right thinking - Means that you are conforming your thoughts to be godly. What would God have you to do in any given situation? Because the reward for right thinking, is godly living or holy living.
3. Speak words of deliverance - Means that the word from your mouth are to encourage, to correct when correction is needed, to speak truth at all times. Because as you do this, you will help those that need deliverance from sin or what keeps them down. And your reward is that you bring about the work of God in your life.
4. Delivered from trouble - This means that as you follow God, He will deliver you from the snares and traps that the enemy tries to set for you. And your reward is being in the safety of God.
5. Your words of truth shall last - When you speak the truth of God, it will not go to nothing. For God's truth is eternal. Your reward is that you can be established in God's word.
6. No evil shall happen to the Just - God will reward you with His peace and His joy, to those that follow Him. The just are a delight (pleasure) to the Lord. He is the protector of those that obey Him. Your reward is you can be secure in God's power and in His will.
Now the other person listed in this chapter is the wicked man. Let's see what happens to him.
1.Wicked are comdemned - When a person refuses to except God's instruction, he is refusing to follow after the things of God and his lot for this action is condemation. That also means even as you walk this life, your action will not be blessed by God. So you are condemned here in this earth, as well as condemned eternally.
2. You are deceitful - If your thoughts and actions are pure and truthful, you are being deceitful. You are planning ways to trick or misprepresent something. Scripture says that you are lying in wait to take blood. Well even if you are not killing in the flesh, you can be killing the spirit, or killing the name. This will bring to you, God's disapproval. For He knows what you are doing and He knows the heart of man.
3. You are caught in your lies - Scripture tells us that those that deceive or lie, will be caught in their own lies. Yes a person may go a long time and not be known, but God knows from the very moment that the thought is formed in your mind. You will receive for this action, God's judgement. For God is all knowing and all seeing. He knows all that we think or do. And God's truth will shine light on the lies of the lips.
4. You will be filled with mischief - As I read this scripture it struck me two ways. First the wicked will have in their hearts mischief (conduct that annoys or vexes, trouble, damage, harm). They will do things that destroy, bring about trouble, annoy people, or as the older generation said, vex people. Damage relationships and harm people. So the scripture says they are filled. The other thought that crossed my mind is that just as the righteous is filled with peace and joy because of obeying, then the wicked is filled with trouble in their own lives, they are damaging themselves and their relationships with others, the are doing harm to themselves spiritually and vexing their own spirit. So the resolute of this behavior is no peace or joy in their lives. They are filled with worry, and trouble.
So what is this scripture telling us. That their is no behavior that goes unnoticed by God. He rewards those that are faithful to Him, and he punishes those that disobey Him. He gives us warning and if we make the decision not to follow, then we choose what we will receive, punishment or promises.
So today, let's check ourselves and make sure we are on the right side of this Proverb so that we can receive God's promises and not God's punishments.
Prayer: Lord help us to live righteous, holy lives. Help us to live in a way that is pleasing to you and in doing so, we become avenues for others to see your work in his people and in the world. Help us to flee from any unrighteousness that would cause us harm and harm to our witness. This is our prayer, Amen.