Proverbs 12:11-15
Prov 12:11 (KJB)
He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
Tilleth - Work or to serve
Shall be satisfied with bread - Have plenty of bread
This verse teaches us that the choice of one’s goals will reveal the heart. In the first part of this verse, we read that a person who tills his land will have plenty of bread. This may also be applied to a person who chooses to go to work and not sit home and be lazy. A person who chooses to work will reap the rewards of their work. On the other hand, a person who chooses not to work and takes counsel from lazy people, show they have a heart which is void of understanding and it will lead them to nowhere except poverty. This verse also has a spiritual application. Those who do not do any work in the Scriptures, that is, studying for themselves will allow themselves to be swayed by every wind of doctrine and every false teacher, simply because they have nothing to compare the teachings they are hearing to. Those who take the time to study the Scriptures will have much bread, that is, spiritual food in their spiritual pantry. When they hear a teaching, they will be able to judge whether it is right or wrong because of the Scriptures they will have studied.
Prov 12:12 (KJB)
The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
The net of - Siege work or snare
When one wicked person sees another wicked person with a scheme that may be working, they will desire to have that same scheme so it may yield the same type of rewards for them. We have seen the same evil schemes being performed for thousands of years and they never yield anything but trouble for the one performing them. (Eccl 1:9 KJV) The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. The wicked see other evil people selling drugs, robbing banks, doing Ponzi schemes, stealing, etc. and when everything including the penalties are taken into consideration, there is nothing gained except a ruined life. I remember an-ex-prisoner telling a friend of mine that another prisoner told him that he wasn’t going to work at MacDonalds for seven dollars per hour. This prisoner, who became saved, asked him, “so you would rather come here to prison and work for 50¢ a day?” So he did something illegal and got himself thrown in prison. On the other hand, the works of the righteous will yield proper fruit which will be beneficial for not only the saved but the unsaved will benefit from it. For example, many hospitals were started by Christians. Ida Scudder (1870-1960) was a missionary in India for the Reformed Church in America and started one of the leading teaching hospitals in Vellore, India. So the root of the righteous, which is the Lord Jesus Christ dwelling in us will yield fruit on this earth to the glory of God.
Prov 12:13 (KJB)
The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
Snared - Trap
Trouble - Adversity
The wicked are snared in two ways: First, they are snared with their own words when they are called to task as to why they do not follow their own advice. Too many people today give advice to others but will never follow it themselves. Secondly, their words will come back to reveal their true nature and once that occurs, they will lose followers and credibility. If we sin with our lips and say things which are outrageous, we may be culpable for what we say, in fact, we will be held accountable by others. The wicked always seem to have many words which eventually cause them trouble. The just shall get out of adversity because they tell the truth and this means they do not have to over justify their words or try and cover what they previously said. This is why the wise man holds his tongue because he knows it can get him into much trouble. Words can commend or condemn. Too many just condemn!
Prov 12:14 (KJB)
A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompense of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
Satisfied - Satiated or full
Recompense - Reward or benefit
Rendered - Returned to turned back
Here we read that a man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth. This is especially true if one is preaching the gospel and people become saved. The one doing the speaking will be satisfied that his words are bearing fruit. This is why it is important for the Christian to speak only that which is right and not to get into a base argument with an unbeliever. Now we may debate a subject with an unbeliever but in our discourse, it is extremely important for us to maintain our Christian testimony and then we will be satisfied. If we trade insults, then after we look at what we said, we will be dissatisfied realizing we have lost credibility. In the second part of this verse we read that a person’s works will somehow be returned to them. This part is not saying if the works are good or bad ones, that is because the principle applies to both types. If we do good works, then when they are returned to us, it will be a good recompense with a good testimony. If they are bad works, then they will be returned to us maybe with a harmful effect. As we saw the diligent man who tills his field will be satisfied with the fruit of that field but the lazy man will have no fruit except more laziness and begging.
Prov 12:15 (KJB)
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Right - Upright, straight, or reliable
Hearkeneth - Listens
Have you ever heard someone say, “Don’t tell me” or “I know what I am doing?” I am sure we have both heard these sayings from people who didn’t know what they were doing and then got into trouble. It is interesting in this verse the word “right” carries with it the meaning of “upright or reliable.” The fool is convinced that they are in full control and everything they do is reliable. However, in time their plans and schemes come to nothing, and even projects they attempt will fail in disgrace. A fool is one who despises any counsel from anyone and who cannot be told anything, even though their past track record is strewn with failure and loss. On the contrary, the wise person does not hesitate to seek counsel because they desire to do things properly and correct the first time. There is a saying in business which is apropos. “Why is there always time to do it right the second time, but never enough time to do it right the first time?” The wise man will plan with counsel but the fool hides the instructions.