What is always remembered as that Famous Proverbs Saying, we also find in Chapters 12 and 13. It is this phrase…
“Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked!” Let’s take a look at the construction of these contrasts. The way they are built, helps us to really,
understand the teaching God is using Solomon to describe for us. In fact only reading half of the verse seems confusing but,
when the whole verse is read, it really comes alive. Let’s take one example. Let’s look at Proverbs 12:1 but I just want to read half.
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,”Proverbs 12:1 [NASB]
sounds basically good but it lacks any real connection between “discipline” and “knowledge”,
until you add the second half.
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”Proverbs 12:1 [NASB]
Now we have a deeper thought here. We know reproof is how we eventually end up with knowledge and pursuing discipline in between that.
Clearly, it takes the whole verse to better explain what God is saying to us.
The goal is to obtain knowledge and we can know this means “Godly knowledge”, and Solomon is telling us how to actually get it!
This verse also uses the word, Stupid. Is God calling you stupid? Well, I doubt it, rather it’s a stupid choice to reject reproof when we need it.
Whether in our younger years, or maybe a bit later in life – like sometime yesterday.
And without re-direction from the Holy Spirit, we may carve our own path about various matters in life, but it can end up being catastrophic.
So, whoever loves discipline, loves knowledge. Now it makes sense to see what God is telling us. If we are okay with discipline or a disciplined
lifestyle, knowledge will faithfully be available to us as needed. Again, those who accept correction from time to time will gain knowledge!
I have one verse covered, and 52 more to go!
With many of these verses, there are key words Solomon uses which are the goal words, words like, “Just” or “deceitful”. Let’s read verse 5.
Proverbs 12:5. “The thoughts of the righteous are just, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”
I mean who doesn’t want to be called “Just” and wouldn’t most people shy away from the title of “deceitful”?
But the real issue today is, what is Just and what is Deceitful? As we know many around the world is reversing right and wrong.
But in Proverbs, God was ready for this all along, giving us many great teachings from these Contrasts.
That said, in God’s eyes you can’t obtain the title of Righteous by being Deceitful and you can’t be deceitful and expect a righteous outcome…
In fact if we answer the question honestly, God sets the standard so we always know where He stands, and really what is His unchanging nature!!!
We read the verses to hear from the Lord what is the instruction from Him, to us.
Here is a pretty famous verse. Proverbs 12:13. “An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will escape from trouble.”
How about this one? Proverbs 12:15. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
Here’s one that is really famous Proverb 12:10. “A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.”
I didn’t want to be cruel to my toothless animal, so I blessed her with a gift…
Overall, we need to remember many of these contrasts seem to end using what appears to be a negative description of something.
But we have to remember if we were perfect in every way, we wouldn’t need contrasting views to help keep us from where we might end up,
that being something of regret or disappointment. These contrasts should encourage us, keeping us from where we shouldn’t be going.
The end of chapter 12 says in the “way” of righteousness, is life. We find life, right inside this pathway, and when we walk in that,
there is no death. Regardless of what people do, God’s law does not change. Thank goodness it doesn’t. We have consistency from the One
who never changes and never moves around from one so called truth over to another – God doesn’t operate that way, and neither should we.
So be kind to your toothless animals and bring them a set of teeth!
Chapter 13 continues with important Contrasts. The first one that caught my attention was verse 3.
Proverbs 13:3. “The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
Sometimes it’s good not to say anything at all. And when we do, it may open up cans of worms leading to a lot of trouble.
Ultimately, we have to check our motivation in why we say something to someone. We may have a good reason to correct someone,
Or redirect a person where they’ve committed an offence and we need to lovingly play judge and jury on the matter.
Overall though, why don’t we go to prayer to the One who can really make changes in a person’s life? The very changes we are hoping for.
In that process why don’t we also pray God reveals to us if we have a wrong view on the matter. There may be something more to it.
The real deal is asking God to show us things from His perspective if that might need to be done. But one thing we can do is what some people
Coin in this phrase. Let us Speak Life into someone. The Bible is clear there are plenty of times a solid rebuke is necessary.
And I have tested that theory for myself many a time and found rebukes abound all around for me, whenever I might need one!
But take a look at these phrases. “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life”, “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn aside from the snares of death”, “The tongue of the wise brings healing”, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”,
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life” and “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it, will eat its fruits.”
Ephesians 4:29. “29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Why is it that God wants us to use what we say for the good of others, and to breathe life into people?
Because it actually produces a better result that taking the negative approach. Not that God doesn’t rebuke but more often, He loves…
To mirror our Heavenly Father’s ways and nature, to show the world we love others as God loves us, to introduce people to the love of God,
to breathe life into people as God’s Word breathes life into us. We cause creation to take actually place, meaning new life by the good we say.
Did not God speak creation and life into existence at the beginning? In our own way are we doing just as our father has done, instilling life in others.
It’s just amazing that we carry that much power just by what we say, and we crave words of life and of love, should we not do the same for others?
Doesn’t the Scripture say as we do to others, it will be done to us. This is true in the words to leave our mouths and the words that return back.
Isaiah 50:4-5. “4 The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. 5 The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not disobedient, nor did I turn back.”
You have a tongue of a disciple of Jesus Christ and you better use it. God wakes us up and starts talking to us in the morning,
So we know how to use our tongues today. Our prayer then should be, when we wake in the morning, “God would speak to us by Your Spirit,”
Then spoken from our mouths, comes from God putting His ideas in our mind and heart, as we speak and audible-ize His words of life.
We start our fresh day, invoking the Holy Spirit to say from the heart of God, to rightly use our tongue.
When the Holy Spirit begins to govern your speech, you might ask, “where did that come from?” “Did I say that?” NO, you didn’t.
But God did. It’s those everyday things that God works some of His greatest miracles in your life, but you need to be open to using
Your life and this part of your body (the tongue) for His causes and purposes. When we get ahold of that, it MAY go the other way.
Aren’t we glad the Holy Spirit is there to help us when we need it the most? When Isaiah, in chapter 6 saw the presence of God and the angels
saying “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.”
Isaiah said “I am a man of unclean lips, woe is me, for I am ruined.” And we live in a world of things spoken that are unclean.
So the angel brought a hot coal and touched it to the mouth of Isaiah and said to him,
Isaiah 6:7. “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
So much if what we say was/is why we had to be forgiven from the Lord God Almighty.
Isn’t it time we do by what we say in keeping with God’s eternal provision?
Please allow me to speak these words over you!
You bless us by being here today.
You make our time together, that much better.
If you weren’t here, it would not be the same.
Whenever you are not here, you are missed.
You are a child of the Lord God Almighty.
The Earth is full of His glory to share with you.
He calls you to salvation, and a walk of faith with Him.
Do not ignore His calling you.
Trust He has His best for you.
For the joy of the Lord is your STRENGTH!