Proverbs 12:12-14 Work For It
Solomon shares the results of the twisted mind and the righteous mind. It comes out in the works of his hands. The righteous work for their reward. The wicked won’t.
Still following the outline from my bible helps, this section focuses on “the contrast between sensible labors and worthless pursuits” (ESV Study Bible note on 12:12-14). This sounds reasonable to me but this section also highlights the fact that it is the heart and mouth that gets things moving, either for good or bad. Let’s see where the Spirit takes us today.
We start off with the wicked man wanting what is not his and is NOT gotten rightly. This takes me back to the gangs again and their recruitment techniques. Showing off how they are getting rich through intimidation and violence. This can be very enticing to those who don’t really want to work.
But stop and notice where this behavior comes from. It comes from the mind and heart. Before the ‘new initiate’ even raises his hand to join or speaks a word, his heart and mind are already filled with envy. He wants what others have and he doesn’t care how he gets it. The easier the better. He then opens his mouth and says, “Count me in!”
The root of the righteous is also his heart and mind. He sees what is out there as clearly as the wicked do. But his heart is NOT drawn to the behavior of the evil. He is repulsed by it. Violence and intimidation are NOT in his nature and he will NOT join in with those who use such techniques to prosper. “If that’s what it takes to be ‘rich’ count me OUT!”
He doesn’t go away empty handed though. God fills his hands with good things. He may not get ‘rich’ by the world’s standards but his heart is rich in love. When he places his life is in God’s hands He is blessed and bears fruit. This fruit will probably include souls for God’s kingdom. For as surely as an evil man is watched, a righteous one is also. Those drawn to his heart will find true life.
Here we are to the lips/mouth again. The man who said “Count me in” will reap the ‘rewards’ of his choice. Have you ever noticed that there are no old men in gangs? The life expectancy of this lifestyle is extremely short. Sooner or later they all end up in one of two places; jail or the grave.
Not so for the one who refuses such enticements. His lips help him escape from this future. He will not lock arms with the wicked. His path leads to life instead of destruction. For he has said, “I’ll have no part in this.”
The hands of BOTH bring their ‘just reward’. The evil man receives his evil while the righteous receives his good fruit. Continuing with our gang comparison, those who choose this path will wind up dead. The one who walks away from temptation will find health, home, and family. His hands will be involved in good works. He may never gain the gang banger’s wealth but what he has doesn’t have ‘blood of another’ on it.
Evil isn’t relegated to just the gangs on the street. It can be found from the boardroom down to the dumpster. Good men and women can also be found from the top to the bottom of our societies too. And it all starts with the heart. It’s your choice. I choose to set my heart on Him and work with my hands to bring His Kingdom glory.
Father God, thank You for blessing the ‘works of my hands’ in SO many ways. Even the times when I felt like I was accomplishing nothing, You used it to prepare me for what lay ahead. THANK YOU that I didn’t grow up in an area where gangs were pressing young people into ‘service’. Keep my heart, mind, and hands set on Your purposes ALWAYS. I do NOT want the evil man’s reward!