John T. Willis

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Proverbs 12:1-6

Proverbs 12 continues using antithetical [contrast] parallelism for the most part, like Proverbs 10 and 11. Proverbs 12:1-6 contrast the righteous and the wicked.

Verse 1: "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but those who hate to be rebuked are stupid."

Verse 2: "The good obtain favor from the Lord,
but those who devise evil he condemns."

Verse 3: "No one finds security by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved."

Verse 4: "A good wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones."

Verse 5: "The thoughts of the righteous are just;
the advice of the wicked is treacherous."

Verse 6: "The words of the wicked are a deadly ambush,
but the speech of the upright delivers them."

What are some significant practical lessons that these verses proclaim?

1. No one is perfect. All of us need correction and transformation of life and heart from time to time in life. This attitude leads a wise person to covet and appreciate correction from good people that have her/his interests at heart. This is quite different from malicious criticism which many bring to hurt and destroy a person.

2. The primary concern of God's creatures should be to "please" him (see for example, 1 Thessalonians 2:3-7; 4:1; Galatians 1:10). A "good" person does that.

3. Security is not based on wealth, power, influence, or popularity, but on God's faithfulness, which should motivate one to be righteous.

4. A good wife [or husband] is the greatest support for one seeking to serve God, while an ungodly spouse brings great anguish and problems to one striving to be God's person.

5. Words of gossip and slander come from the hearts of wicked people, and are designed to be a "deadly ambush" to the godly, who assume that people are good and would not harm them physically or by words. A righteous person needs to be very careful about what she/he says and does around people who have proved themselves to be talebearers and slanderers. Unfortunately, some "religious" people are the worst in this activity.

John Willis