Proverbs 12:24-28 Right Path
The righteous and wicked hearts direct the path of each. The righteous will walk the right path, which leads to life. While the wicked’s leads to death.
Still following my bible help’s break out grouping, we finish this chapter today. We see how the heart and mind direct the path of the person. An evil heart cannot result in a righteous walk and vice versa. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” and the hands do.
The last verse shows us the end result for both paths. “In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death” (verse 28). This is NOT saying that the righteous will never face physical death but their eternal reward is life with the Father. The path and end of the wicked is not stated here but implied. Eternal death awaits; separation from God.
I’ve heard it said that many don’t follow God because of the “life after death” idea. I would rather live my life as though it is true and be proved wrong than to live my life as if it is not true and be confronted with the truth. I lose NOTHING by living for Him. The wicked lose EVERYTHING by refusing Him.
So what does the life of the righteous look like in these proverbs? First off he is a leader in his community. He is diligent in his duties in this position. He doesn’t necessarily have to be an actual appointed leader but his conduct and results are such that people want to imitate him. And this conduct leads to wealth for him. Look carefully at the kind of wealth he receives. “The diligent man will get precious wealth” (verse 27b). I’m willing to bet that this kind of wealth isn’t the money in the bank kind but the kind that comes only from God. Wisdom, understanding, humility, and a relationship with the father are FAR more valuable than all the gold in the world. This man knows how to use and spread that kind of wealth.
The wicked man falls into deep trouble. He is lazy and tries to get others to join him in his folly. He is put to “forced labor” by his own choices. Even what he has is lost as a result of his chosen path. Being a prisoner as a result of criminal behavior comes to mind right here. This is NOT the kind of man any of us want to become. OR want to follow!
One verse can apply to both the wicked and righteous. “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad” (verse 25). I don’t know anyone in this world who hasn’t “worried” about something some time in their life. We ALL encounter problems of one sort or the other. We live in a fallen world, how could we not. And, YES, worry weighs down the heart. But there is a difference between short term worry and long term worry. All worry stems from and uncertainty about the future. The righteous man has God to turn to about his future so his worry is relieved. “The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—whom shall I dread?” (Psalm 27:1). I think you could easily put “what” in place of “whom” here.
The wicked have no guarantee of rescue. They only have themselves to rely on. As I’ve heard proclaimed MANY times; “When you are in trouble is when you find out who your TRUE friends are.” That’s because they are waiting for other people to come to their rescue instead of God. That saying has value for both paths but it is the ONLY hope for the wicked.
I shared the other day with you about how God ‘orchestrated’ a meeting to meet the needs of one of His children and me in the same day. It involved misdirecting her FedEx delivery to me. How my name was picked out of ALL the residents in the United States is a miracle. But because of that mistake we were both able to offer prayer to the other, and it was a Spirit inspired prayer. God saw our “worry” before it even happened and He made a way to resolve it. He had us BOTH offering a “good word” to build one another up. It’s AMAZING how many times He has done this in my life. And her testimony to me was of SO MANY times He had done the same in her life. God uses His children to offer that “good word” in times of worry. HE is the one who can be counted on in times of trouble. He is my TRUE Friend.
Father God, thank You for ALL You have done for me in my life! I do NOT deserve the joy You have given me in times of trouble but You brought it to me anyway. You also went farther than just words. You rescued me from trouble and set my feet on a solid foundation. I have NOTHING to fear as long as You are with me. And You promised NEVER to leave me, so I’m good FOREVER.
Thank You again for letting me be Your arms and legs to offer help. Even the help of driving my mother-in-law to her appointments. Let me be gracious in every interaction and demonstrate Your love. Especially give me Your patients as I keep responding to my husband’s needs. The ones that keep coming back over and Over and OVER again weary both of us. Hold us in these times. Heal his itching issues, whatever the cause.