Proverbs 12:21-25
Prov 12:21 (KJB)
There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
Evil - Trouble or sorrow
Mischief - Evil
Here we have a passage which contrasts the lifestyles of the saved and unsaved. The saved will not experience trouble or sorrow because of the upright life which they live. Now this is not speaking of the circumstances which can befall even the righteous, such as the loss of a loved one or even loss of a business. What is in view here is the righteous will not suffer as one who commits evil. (1 Pet 4:15 KJV) But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Christians will suffer as a result of their testimony or the bringing forth of the Gospel in a hostile world. On the other hand, the wicked will suffer because their lives are based upon their own wicked schemes. They suffer because they choose to live a life contrary to the word and wisdom of God. (Mat 26:52 KJV) Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. They bring their own troubles upon themselves.
Prov 12:22 (KJB)
Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
Lying Lips - Lips of Deceit
Delight - Favor or pleasure
The Lord detests lying lips as well as other types of evil. (Prov 18:21 KJV) Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Since many people possess the ability to be persuasive when it comes to words, if they are evil, then they become dangerous to all because they have the ability to sway someone. We see this especially in the false preachers of today. They seem to have a silver tongue and say all the right things, but under their tongues is deceit and lies as they are in the false ministry for money. The Lord detests lying in any situation because it always leads the person being spoken to, in deceit. On the other hand, when truth is spoken it delights the Lord. Again, just as lying is reprehensible in any situation, truth telling is always welcomed in any situation. When someone is bringing the true Gospel with the full counsel of God, it is a delight to the Lord to have all of His word proclaimed to the people. God saves through the teachings of His word.
Prov 12:23 (KJB)
A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
Prudent - Clever or crafty
The wise man knows the values of words and when he has information which is of no concern to others, he will conceal that knowledge so whatever he knows is still held in confidence and will not become a subject of gossip. The prudent man is known by his ability to keep confidence, on the other hand, the fool cannot wait to blab everything he knows to everyone and anyone thus breaking a confidence and possibly hurting another person who may have told him something in private. The fool also proclaims his own ideas and thoughts which may amount to nothing but foolishness in the ears of a wise person. A fool is one who lets his mind just pour out foolish thoughts like a river flowing over a broken dam.
Prov 12:24 (KJV)
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
Diligent - Industrious
Tribute - Carries with it the meaning of a government enforced taxation of goods and labor
Here is the difference in results between those who choose to invest their lives and those who choose to just exist in laziness. First, those who are industrious are the ones who will excel in their chosen careers to the point that they will become managers and maybe executives. Secondly, this also has a spiritual application that those who choose to invest their lives in the studying of the True Gospel will become teachers of the Gospel with authority over those to whom they teach and over those who do not want to study. Diligence, in no matter what vocation, is always preferred because it advances a person and causes them to gain knowledge which makes them important. Those who know the Bible well are also important to Christians who may have serious questions or even unbelievers who may be seeking the Lord if they are being called.
It is interesting to note that those who are lazy will be forced to labor. They may become delinquent on their bills and will be forced to get a job and the one they get may be very irritating but for the lazy, that is good. Those who refuse to work will still have to meet their tax burden plus they will have to meet their monthly bills or else they will find themselves out on the street and if that happens in winter, then they are really in trouble. A bad job is better than a cold park bench but to the lazy both are reprehensible.
Prov 12:25 (KJB)
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
Heaviness - Fearful anxiety or worry
Stoop - Weighs it down
Good - Pleasant, useful, or proper
Sometimes a Christian may have taken on the unwanted burden of anxiety by means of a situation coming into their life. This anxiety or worry is like a heart which is stooping or bowing down to it. Worry, if in a prolonged state, can lead to serious doubts in our faith because we may adopt the belief that God may have abandoned us and thoughts like that can lead to more worry. Even though deep down, the Christian knows that God would never abandon His redeemed children. Sometimes when we see a Christian who is weighed down with worry or anxiety, we may say to them, “Keep a stiff upper lip” or “Keep smiling” or “Don’t worry.” These are all trite sayings which are as about as useful as a squirt gun on a forest fire. If we come across a brother or sister who is down, the verse tells us we must give a proper or useful word. Those words must not strike the symptoms but the root. For example, If they are worrying about a child who is in college 1,000 miles away, what can they do to protect them? That is when we would come along with verses about God protecting our own family and how we are to strategically pray for them. Once the worrying person begins to regain their spiritual composure back, the worry will wane and faith will grow stronger to the point that the worry will be gone. This is the same in any situation where there is worry. We never attack the symptom but the root of the anxiety with the word of God. As we do, God brings peace into that life. (Isa 26:3 KJV) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. If we turn them from focusing on the problem to focusing on the Lord, they will have victory and the next time worry tries to rear its ugly head, it will disappear much faster.