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Proverbs 12:26-28 - Corps - April 28 -1982

Format: mp3,pdf
Publication Date: April 28, 1982

Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962. 

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.

He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International  and served as assistant to the president. 

April 28, 1982
Proverbs 12:26-28
Rev. Cummins
Okay! Well, tonight we’re going into the Book of Proverbs. It’s been a long time since we’ve been in Proverbs and we’re going to go back into it tonight. We’ve covered quite a few things. We’re in chapter 12 this evening. I believe the last time, we hit some of the earlier verses in chapter 12. And this particular chapter has a number of things in it that are mistranslated from the Hebrew and so we’ve had to spend a little time studying some of the things here. And tonight, I wanted to look at the last three verses, because all three of them involve mistranslations. And if you understand these things, it will help you to understand again the whole context, the chapter in which it’s written and other things in this section of the book. So let’s start with verse 26. Says:
Proverbs 12:26: The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
Now the righteous is more excellent than his neighbor. Well a lot of that depends on whether his neighbor…how good his neighbor is. Maybe his neighbor is righteous, right? Then what are you going to say? Is he more excellent than another righteous neighbor? See the whole thing just doesn’t fit. First of all these three words (“is more excellent than”…or four words: “more excellent than”…“is more excellent than”) in the Hebrew, it’s one…or it’s a verb which has been of course mistranslated here in the King James and apparently misunderstood by a lot of translators. Because when they translated it literally, it did not make sense in their minds. The word means “explores” or “searches out” or “studies” or “spies out”. To search out or spy out, to explore or study your neighbor. And they didn’t quite understand the great significance of exploring your neighbor. Because that’s not quite the usage of words we would employ in English. But having…you know, not understanding it in that light, why… they misunderstood it and mistranslated or tried to translate it some other way and never got it to fit. But if you let it set as it is, “explores or studies his neighbor” is very beautiful. And especially when you understand it in light of the antithetic part of this verse, in other words, the contrast. Because the second part of the verse is the contrast to the first. It says “but the way of the wicked seduceth them or misleads them”, or “leads them to destruction” as one translation puts it.
See the na…the righteous person will study his neighbor. He will explore his neighbor to see what would bless and help that neighbor. Whereas the wicked will lead his neighbor astray. He leads him astray. This idea is not foreign to the Book of Proverbs nor to other
scriptures in the Word. Matter of fact you read the same idea in many other places, that the righteous explores his neighbor or tries to find out what would help and bless that individual, instead of just spilling his mouth; instead of having the run of the mouth where he just tears him up. He explores him in order to help and to bless him. He has tremendous insight into an individual. He’s empathetic. Whereas the wicked simply misleads or tears down that neighbor. This righteous man has insight in order to bless his neighbor. He’s empathetic with him. In Proverbs 15, you have a similar idea in verse 28. Where it says, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer:…”; 15:28.
Proverbs 15:28a: The heart of the righteous studieth [or meditates] to answer:
In other words, he doesn’t just flip an answer off the top of his head, but he studies his neighbor, or he studies a situation before he answers.
Proverbs 15:28b: …but the mouth of the wicked [it just pours] out evil things.
See? He just has the run of the mouth, and what comes out doesn’t make much difference and it tears down, destroys, that kind of thing. Then again, in chapter 24, you have another one. In verse 2; well, start in verse 1, 24:1
Proverbs 24:1 and 2: 1 Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. 2 For their heart studieth destruction,….
The righteous man studies or meditates on what? The Word. You know, to build a man up, to bless somebody. Whereas the heart of this evil man studies destruction, studies to tear down and their lips talk of mischief. So this idea of the neighbor or a man…a righteous man exploring or studying his neighbor in order to find out what would bless and help that individual, to have insight into that individual is not foreign to the Book of Proverbs. In Philippians chapter 2, you have a familiar verse of scripture. Philippians chapter 2 goes right along with this. Philippians 2, in verse 4. Where it says:
Philippians 2:4: Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
And in some class, we covered this word “look” was a Greek word skopeō from which we get scope. It’s like we say; scope in on. It means to focus in on, skopos is a…what do you
call it where you throw your darts at? Bullseye thing, target; right. So it’s to have as your target, focus in on. See? Look not every man on his own things. Don’t focus in on your own things, but every man focus in on the things of others also. Because you want to know why another person thinks the way he does, if you’re going to help him. You study, you explore, you spy out...not in a negative sense but…(you know, where you’re sneaking around bushes looking through a periscope or something of that nature)...but to where you’re…you can help that individual. See? You search out, explore, study your neighbor. Look every man on the things of others also. Galatians chapter 6, you have another familiar scripture that goes right along with this. Chapter 6, verse 1.
Galatians 6:1: Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.
If somebody has a fault, what do you do? You criticize them, you tell them to climb up a tree, crawl out on the limb, take a saw along, cut the limb off behind him, right? No. It says, you which are spiritual; if you’re so spiritual then you restore that individual in the spirit of meekness. In the spirit of meekness. But watch yourself that you’re not tempted. See? Don’t let him, when you’re trying to help him, don’t let him drag you down. If you’re going to help somebody out of the muck and mire that they’re in, you’ve got to reach down, pull them out. But at the same time you don’t let them pull you down in. Do you? That’s right. So you which are spiritual, you restore that individual, not by beating him over the head or telling him to climb out on a limb, but restore him in the spirit of meekness. You study that individual to decide what would help or bless or really lift that individual up.
In Romans chapter 14, you have a great chapter that’s right along this line of helping your neighbor. To help him you have to study him. It doesn’t mean be snoopy. Okay? It doesn’t mean to be nosy or so you got some more to gossip about. That’s not what it’s talking about. But it’s having insight, being empathetic, understanding. Because why does one person do such things? You know, why doesn’t everybody act like me? That’s one of the biggest problems I have. [Laughter] If everybody was like me, this would be a lot better world. Not really. It’d be kind of boring. But I think that’s the attitude we get sometimes. But why is one person different from another? Why do they have problems in one area that I don’t have problems in? But on the other hand, maybe, I’ve got problems in areas that they don’t have problems in. See? And trying to be empathetic to the end that you understand, that you’re able to help other people is what we’re after. Verse 1 of chapter 14 in Romans.
Romans 14:1: Him that is weak [or immature] in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations [or critical reasonings].
You receive an individual that’s immature in the faith. Now if he’s immature, he’s not going to have the same high polished vocabulary with the Word, like you have, right? He’s not going to have the same long suits in his walk with God, that perhaps you have. But he’s hungry and willing to learn. And so you receive that one, but not to the point again where he pulls you down, to critical reasonings. Because:
Romans 14:2: …one [person believes] that he may eat all things: [but] another who is [immature],…
Says, “Well, I can only eat a…wor…(worms) [laughter], right…herbs. I can only eat herbs.”
Romans 14:3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Just because somebody doesn’t believe you should eat…herbs, and somebody else believes that you should. Or one person believes you should eat this; somebody else believes you should not eat that. Or smoke this or drink that or have this in your car or house or somebody else believes you shouldn’t have such and such. Somebody believes you should wear make-up, somebody believes you shouldn’t. Quit judging one another, is what he’s saying.
Romans 14:4, 5a: 4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5 One man esteemeth one day above another:…
Some groups of people think Friday is the top day of the week. Some think Saturday is and some think Sunday is.Well, God made all seven days. So what are you going to do?
Romans 14:5b: …another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
One person may think one thing, another something else, but you don’t dog people on the little insignificant points. You don’t get on somebody’s case because they don’t quite agree with the way you would do something. When it comes to the integrity and accuracy of God’s Word, that’s another story. Whether you believe the truth of the Word or not, that I would stake my life on, and I think you would to. But it…so many times, the disagreements come up over little insignificant points; whether you think one day is a holy day or not. Or whether, you know, whether you think one day is better than another, or you think one food is better than another or you think one type of clothing is better than another, within reason. Now you’re in the Corps right now, so, you got to understand these things in the context, Okay? But it usually, the disagreements, come over a lot of insignificant things. That’s where it begins. Like divorces; always start with minor arguments. One person believes he can do anything, some…another person believes he can’t. Look at verse 23.
Romans 14:22a:
Hast thou [believing]?...
Do you have believing? Well, keep it to yourself.
Romans 14:22b …before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in the thing which he alloweth.
In other words, if…if you believe you can do something and you go ahead and do it, you don’t have any problem with it. But if somebody else doesn’t think…thinks he should be doing that and he does it, then he starts condemning himself.
Romans 14:23: And he that doubteth [or has this conflict within himself] is damned [or frustrated] if he eat, because he eateth not of [believing]: for whatsoever is not of [believing] is sin [to that individual].
He believes, he can’t eat it. So, if somebody makes him eat it, then what happens? He sins. Now sooner or later people have to grow up, see; because God made all things to be enjoyed (and all this stuff, you know the Word). Like Peter, He had to explain this vision to Peter because He let down the sheet that had all the unclean animals in it. Peter didn’t want to eat. God said, Don’t call unclean what I’ve made clean. But yet, people are immature. But sooner or later they have to grow up. If they want to stay immature all their life, then that’s not what it’s talking about here. But it’s talking about helping those that are weak or immature, young in the faith, the family. See, then verse…chapter 15 says:
Romans 15:1: We…that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Again, it’s exploring your neighbor, exploring someone else to find out what would help and bless him. Don’t always be quick to judge that individual.
Romans 15:2: Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to [what?] edification.
To build him up. Back in verse 13 of chapter 14. It said:
Romans 14:13: Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
You have the responsibility as a more matured spiritual individual to help that more immature person to grow up in the Word. That’s your responsibility. And if he believes he can or can’t do a certain thing and you know it’s different from the Word.What do you do? Go over and beat him over the head and say, “Now look, this is what you’re supposed to believe from the Word. Now get with it or get out of the fellowship.” No! That’s not the way you treat them. That’s right. And yet it goes on. Because we become leaders, and a leader is supposed to be strong, determined and not budge on anything. Not exactly. We’re to be giving, loving, compassionate and especially on insignificant points. There’s a difference and sometimes it’s hard as a leader to make that…to draw that fine line.When should you speak and say something and when shouldn’t you speak and say something? To make that decision.What would help and really bless somebody? It says something in Jude about, some people you save by pulling them out of the fire, and others you use a little more compassion on. You know, each situation is different. How do you know the difference? If you don’t explore and study that individual, not only from a sense knowledge point of view, but you’ve got to be walking by the spirit. Because God can tell you what to do in specific situations. But I think of a lot of what Uncle Harry would say that how it’s better that somebody step on our toes, and we be guilty of stepping on theirs. That was the essence of it, I can’t remember exactly what he said. That’s the essence, I’m sure you’ve heard it before. It’s better that somebody step on our toes, and maybe it hurts us a little bit, than for us to be guilty of going out and stomping on everybody else’s feet. And you’ve got to let people grow up, you can’t always jump on them for something. And as a leader, it’s very important. You’ve got to explore that individual, study the matter before you can really answer many times, or make a decision or be more firm about a situation.
And language...because language can tear down. You think you’re big because you can use a lot of small words. You know having three, four, five syllables in them…or letters, excuse me. And you’ve got to watch that because then somebody else hears it and especially when you’re a leader. And I’ve heard again recently leadership using that type of language in open public meetings.What you do privately is one thing, but what you do out in…in public could be a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. It could cause somebody else to stumble. You very seldom heard me using very strong language. Maybe “heck” [laughter] or something like that; especially in public. Now maybe in private [laughter, clears throat], that’s
why I said seldom…or when Joyce and I argue, that’s different. [Laughter.] I shouldn’t tell you all that. But anyway, I’m talking about in public. You’ve got to watch your language as a leader. And if you hear another leader doing it, does that give you the license to go out and do it? No. You’ve got to control your own mouth, your own tongue. And think what would help and bless not just one person (because you know there’s some drunk in there that might be blessed by a few four letter words), but what will bless that whole Body and help them. And again it’s the spirit of God working within you. And some of those things, you just can’t always answer. But I know that you can’t for the most part in a meeting use a lot of dirty language and expect to get results. So watch your language, watch bitter words, watch words that could…you know, connote bitterness in your heart. Or if not in your heart, at least that’s what comes out on your tongue. You know, what you say, and what somebody thinks you says…you say and what they hear you say, and what they think they hear you say are four different things. That’s right. Somewhere in the communication process things don’t always come out the same as they’re intended to. So you’ve got to watch what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Watch that bitterness. And words can communicate, even though you don’t intend it.
You’ve got to explore your neighbor’s heart to know what to say that would bless, edify and build that individual up. It’s easy to criticize. And in leadership, we think that’s our responsibility sometimes, to criticize. It’s not. It’s our responsibility to reprove and correct. And then how you reprove and correct; there’s different ways of doing it. Like I said, some people you save pulling out a fire, others you use a little more compassion on. But it’s easy to criticize someone, whether publicly, privately or behind their back. It’s easy to criticize, it’s hard to correct the results of your criticism. It’s hard to correct what’s you’ve done as a result of doing that criticizing. It’s better to correct someone with meekness and patience, instructing those that oppose themselves. I think it says something like that in Timothy.
2 Timothy 2:25: [With] meekness, instructing those that oppose themselves;…
If they’re voting against themselves, you’ve got to help them to determine the right election. See? By…with meekness and it says that you have to be patient, you have to be able to teach…teach God’s Word so that they can be edified, built up to the point of wanting to change, of wanting to get out of that immature category and become more strong and founded in the Word. And that takes exploration of that individual on your part. To explore your neighbor. It’s easy to criticize. It’s hard to correct what you’ve done by your criticism. It’s better to correct them with patience, meekness and so on, instructing them according to the Word. Because they’ve been hoodwonk…hoodwinked all their life, perhaps, and they need someone who lovingly wants to help and undershepherd and nourish them to get out of what they’re in. Remember the man, the drunk, that Dr. Wierwille said he pulled the sermon out...had saved up for when he came to church and taught this beautiful sermon on the evils of drinking and the drunk told him how much it helped him afterwards. Because he knew more about drinking than
anybody else. He’d been in it all his life, so why should he want to hear more about drinking. He wanted to hear about what God’s Word could do for him. And that’s why when Dr. Wierwille teaches the Word, I get blessed because it builds up, it…it shows you that there’s life in the Word, that there’s help, there’s hope in the Word, and that it’s not a Word that tears you down, or makes you feel guilty. Or like you’d better go to heaven or you’re going to have hell. Whatever. You know scare people into heaven. So watch it how you correct people, explore your neighbor. Go back to Proverbs chapter 12. The righteous explores his neighbor. Look back up at verse 23. Chapter 12, verse 23.
Proverbs 12:23a: A prudent man concealeth knowledge:…
In other words, when you know something, you don’t teach anyone else. No, no, no, no, no...that’s not what it’s talking about. You don’t say everything you know. See, engage brain before starting mouth. Okay.
Proverbs 12:23b: …but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
He just lets his mouth roll. And verse 25, right along this line.
Proverbs 12:25a: Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop:…
(It’s not Christoph, okay [laughter]. He’s my friend or I couldn’t say that. See you can’t say that, otherwise, you’ll get in trouble. Alright. I can’t say it too much or I’ll get in trouble.) “Heaviness in the heart of man…”
You know that’s another thing. You just don’t want to make, you know…I do puns once in a while and nobody ever laughs at them. But you’ve got to watch...if you’re critical, use people’s names in a funny way. You know I can say, Well, I’m “Cummins” or “Goings”, but if I use your name, I’ve got to know you pretty well before I can talk about your name. See? If I know your heart a little bit, maybe I could use your name like that. But also people’s size. You never say, somebody is heavy or skinny, or tall, or short or something like that. You just stay off of those things. If you say it…and even if you say it in a…to be funny, in a funny way, to where you think that individual get blessed; they don’t, at least not deep in their heart. Just stay off of those things. Think what will really help that individual? See, if I talk about…you know, if you came up and talked about me being overweight, why, that wouldn’t bless me. I know I am, you don’t have to tell me about it. And if you maded fun of it, it wouldn’t make me feel any better. See. Would it? See, you have to explore my heart. Nobody said that about me, but I know what you’re thinking. [Laughter]. Okay!
But I never talk about anybody else that way. And I can talk about myself but not you. Okay? Or if you say just the opposite. If somebody is heavy, you call them skinny. Or if they’re skinny, you call them heavy. See? That’s…it’s the same thing...so don’t. Words that edify. See. “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop,” bend…makes the heart bend over.
Proverbs 12:25b: …but a good word maketh it [what?] glad.
See that? A good word, a good word will bless, edify, build up. A good word makes the heart glad, but heaviness causes it to stoop over. That’s why your words...you know, if you’re using foul language or language that’s bitter or criticism constantly, that tears somebody down. But a good word makes that heart what? {Glad.} See, builds it up, makes it glad. Then the next verse right after that is our verse we’ve been working on.
Proverbs 12:26a: The righteous…[explores] his neighbor [before he gives out his words]:….
See it, the context? The righteous explores his neighbor. Now how do I know if my picking on your name would offend you or not, unless I knew a little bit about you? See. But on the other hand, there’s certain things maybe I just don’t want to get involved with, I’d rather stay off of. Because I know, even though you might say it’s alright, yet deep down in your heart, certain things affect individuals universally. And that’s where you have to have that empathy, or being able to look into someb…what’s that word where you have insight into…introspection. Is that the…(well, whatever it is)…where you are able to look into other people’s lives and to understand those individuals. Is that introspection? No, that’s looking in yourself. Compassion. Well, there’s some big long word that I learned once, and forgot it…so. But you know the concept, what I’m talking about; where you’re able to look into that individual’s life to see what would…some people have the ability to do it and some don’t. And the reason they don’t is because they never thought about looking at other people’s lives because they’re very self-centered. But you’ve got to be able to look into other people’s lives to understand what would help and bless that individual, instead of always being…looking on…into your own life. A good word makes the heart glad, the righteous explores his neighbor. So what words is he going to use? Good words, that will make his heart glad.
Proverbs 12:26b …but the way of the wicked [tears…leads them astray, leads them to destruction, misleads them].
In chapter 15, verse 1.
Proverbs 15:1: A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
So if you want to stir up anger, use some grievous words. It works! Dynamite!!! But if you want to turn away anger or wrath, then a soft answer. A soft answer.
Proverbs 15:23a: A man hath joy by [reason] of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season…
How SWEET it is! [Laughter]
Proverbs 15:23b: …how good is it!
A word spoken in due season, how good is it? What does it do? It builds up, it makes the heart glad. The word spoken in due season. Chapter 16, verse 23.
Proverbs 16:23 and 24: 23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
The marrow of the bones of course is where the blood is generated and that’s where the soul life is. (That’d be a good one for the Healing Arts Conference coming up there.) Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Chapter 17. The Word heals, you know. Verse 9; 17:9.
Proverbs 17:9: He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
That’s called gossip. Again, criticism, gossip, running off of the mouth when you ought to be keeping it quiet. It separates friends. Chapter 18, verse 13.
Proverbs 18:13a: He that answereth a matter before he heareth it
Now, that’s hearing to the end of understanding.
Proverbs 18:13b:
…it is folly and shame unto him.
If you answer a matter before you really understand it, it becomes folly and shame to you. When somebody asks you something…you know, if you know the answer, you tell them. But on the other hand, there are some things you’ve got to ponder, explore. You explore your neighbor’s heart, study it before you’re able to really know what to do and say that would bless him.Whereas the wicked, he just rambles on; doesn’t care who he misleads or destroys. Chapter 21, verse 23.
Proverbs 21:23: Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
You want to stay out of trouble? Just guard your mouth and your tongue. It’ll help you. In chapter 25, verse 11. You ought to know this one.
Proverbs 25:11: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Of course, it’s not apples. Johnny apple seed planted those. It’s oranges of gold in trays of silver. And the reason for this custom is because in the East when the traveler would come in off the road, they would have a silver tray on the table and it would be piled full of big oranges. Not your little Florida oranges, but big juicy, succulent oranges, bursting with flavor. You’ve seen them in the ads perhaps where they burst open, the juice flies out. Well these gushed out. [Laughter.] Very refreshing to the traveler. After you’ve traveled down the dusty trail and you come into somebody’s house, boy, this was better than a drink of water. Very refreshing to see those oranges of gold in trays of silver. And of course, the gold represents prosperity, silver represents power in the Bible. So you have prosperity and power, as well as that which is refreshing to the traveler. That’s what a word fitly spoken is to the individual. If you have the right word that you say at the right place, at the right time, to the right individual, it’s like refreshing, prosperous power. Power for Abundant Living. How is that? Refreshing power for abundant living. Like to the traveler, to see that in somebody’s home. But if the word is not fitly spoken, if you just ramble off the mouth or you use a lot of foul language or you use bitter words or words that tear down rather than edify...then it’s more like a piece of green bread on brown china. [Laughter] Green, because it’s moldy and brown because it’s dirty...if you get the picture. Oranges of gold. That’s a word fitly spoken. Have you ever had a word fitly spoken? Somebody said something to you at the right place, at the right time? Or you said something to somebody at the right place, at the right time. God’s Word fitly spoken, what does it do? It refreshes. It brings prosperity and it brings power to that individual’s life. That’s why you have to study your neighbor. You explore and explore the Word and walk by the spirit of God within you so that you know what to say. You know what words are fit to say at a time that will cause that person to be refreshed, to prosper and to be filled with power. Chapter 28, verse 23.
Proverbs 28:23: He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
Now, there’s many other verses like this. And I wanted to throw it in by way of contrast and yet, it’s the same thing. Because you’ve…it’s a fine line sometimes. You’ve got to know when to rebuke someone sharply like the…it mentions in Titus. Rebuking. And afterwards you find more favor than someone that’s simply flatters with his tongue. Flattery, of course gets you nowhere. But flattery is just as bad as foul language, or bitter or destructive language. Flattery has the same voiding effect, the same destructive effect. When you’re supposed to speak up, then you’re supposed to speak up. But I’ve hit the other side tonight because there’s too much speaking out when you ought to be studying to know what to say. Not necessarily you, but I’ve seen it. And language, and especially in public. And don’t forget, I Thessalonians 5:22, it says:
I Thessalonians 5:22: Abstain from [the] appearance of evil.
Not just evil but even anything that looks bad to your neighbor. To abstain from the appearance and again it’s a fine line to know what to do if you really want to help and bless that individual. Now sometimes, maybe it’s better…you know to…to go the other way, but too often we use things for an excuse.Well, it doesn’t matter what you do. Well, we’re an example, we’re an example.
And back here in Proverbs 12, this righteous person, he explores, he studies his neighbor so he knows what to say and how to act, what to do in each situation. But on the other hand, the way of the wicked misleads, or leads to destruction. Now the way of the wicked. It doesn’t say the wicked seduceth or misleads. We know that the wicked does mislead. But that’s not what it says.What does it say? It says the way of the wicked misleads. In other words, his way. His way is his example. They don’t look…or listen necessarily to what he says, but they see what he does. His actions, his manner of life, his way, his example is destructive. It leads…or misleads; leads them to destruction. So your example, your way of life as a righteous person has to be leading them the proper way. Has to lead them to something better. And to do that, you have to be able to look into that individual’s life. To explore, to study, to search out your neighbor, so that you know what to do that will edify and what to say that will edify, rather than what tears down, what’s derogatory, what defeats people. Jesus Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. The thief comes to steal, kills and destroy. See. Our actions, our words fall into one or the other of those two categories. Now verse 27.
Proverbs 12:27: The slothful [of course is the lazy] man roasteth not that which he took in
hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. First of all, the slothful man doesn’t go to the trouble of roasting, yet he went through all that trouble of hunting? I mean…it seems to me it takes a lot more time to go out and hunt a deer than it would to cook it. Would it? I don’t know, maybe not. But at least if I went out and hunted one, I’d stick around and at least cook it so I could eat something. Wouldn’t you? It doesn’t make sense that the lazy man would even bother to go hunting. Well, he doesn’t. Most of the translations and the Greek Septuagint as well as the Aramaic and the Hebrew all have the following essence. “The slothful takes no game, or does not hunt”. You could translate it that way. The slothful takes no game or he doesn’t hunt. But the diligent gets plenty. The slothful is too lazy even to hunt, or even if he does go out in the field or the woods to hunt, he’s too lazy to really put himself into it. It’s like me when I go fishing. When I go fishing, I go in the middle of the day when all the fish are taking a nap, their siesta, and it’s just convenient time. And I dig some worms at the last minute at the edge of the garden, throw them in a bucket, take them down to the lake, hook them on to my hook, throw the pole in the water, sit back and read a book. Sometimes, I do that. Sometimes I don’t take a book along, and I don’t catch a thing.
But the other morning I got up and went out to the lake at 5:30. and I caught four fish. Just so I could teach this. [Laughter] One was so big I couldn’t get it in the car...well, anyway. [Laughter] But the slothful, he’s so lazy that he won’t go hunting. Or even if he does, he really doesn’t put himself into it. He doesn’t catch any fish, or he doesn’t catch any game. That’s why the literal or translations, most of them read, have that essence. The slothful takes no game, or he doesn’t hunt. But the keen or diligent person gets plenty. Some use the word “keen” rather than diligent. And again this idea is not unfamiliar to the rest of Proverbs. Look right up above in verse 24.
Proverbs 12:24: The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
See, the diligent pershion…person, he’s going to catch plenty of game. But the slothful person, he isn’t going to get any food. He’s not going to get any game, because he’s too lazy to really put himself into the hunt. He’s too lazy to go out and work or to earn a living, he’s going to be under tribute. He’s going to be working for someone else. He’s going to be somebody else’s slave. Back in chapter 10, verse 4.
Proverbs 10:4a: He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand:…
It’s not talking about cards but talking about working. If you work with a slack hand.
Proverbs 10:4b: …but the hand of the diligent [shall…or] maketh rich.
If you’re diligent, you become rich. If you’re lazy, you become poor. Then you go to chapter…chapter 15, verse 19. Here’s a good one.
Proverbs 15:19: The way of the slothful [the lazy] man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
Or “is a high way,” it should read. It’s a raised road. That’s where we get highway from. Because the road was raised. It was above the level of the rest of the terrain so that it wouldn’t be flooded out; and that kind of thing where you could walk or you take your carts across on dry ground and so on. It was a high way. In the low way, is where you had all these thorn bushes, the hedge of thorns. Now think about it. If you were going to go from New Bremen to New Knoxville and there was one high way, a road that you could take, and all the rest was a hedge of thorns. Which way would you travel? The high way. Which way do you run? How many of you run through a raspberry patch when you go jogging? Not too many. You run down the road. Right? You pick a high way, where it’s dry, and so on. That’s the slothful man; when he goes, he goes through the hedge of thorns. It doesn’t mean he literally does, but because he’s so lazy, his way is very slow, very hard to get through the thorn patch. It would be much easier to go down the high way. That’s what the rich man does…or not the rich, the diligent (the way of the righteous), because he’s not afraid to work. He gets out there and puts himself to it, and so he runs down the road of life, instead of going through the hedge. Now if you had a race and you’re going to run down the high way and somebody else is going to run through the hed…[clears throat] hedge of thorns, who do you think is going to win? Equally match people. The one that runs down the high way. See. So you want to travel slow, you want to travel fast? If you want to go fast, you go the righteous way, the diligent way. You’re not lazy. Same idea that we read in the other chapter. Look at chapter 19, verse 15; 19:15.
Proverbs 19:15: Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer [what?] hunger.
Sure! He takes no game. He’s not going to have any food to eat. He suffers hunger. And chapter 20, verse 5…4, verse 4.
Proverbs 20:4a: The sluggard [that’s again the lazy man] will not plow by reason of the cold;…
Oh! It’s a little chilly out today, I don’t think I’ll go plowing.
Proverbs 20:4b: …therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
If he doesn’t plow when it’s plowing time, no matter if it’s a little chilly or not, and then he’s not going to eat when it comes harvest time. He’s going to have to beg. The same idea. The lazy man takes no game or he doesn’t hunt. Whereas the keen or diligent man has plenty. Back to twelve, Proverbs 12. See that? The slothful gets no game. But the diligent has plenty, he gets plenty. Because he’s not afraid to work, to get out there and hunt, get up at the right time of day, set the proper traps or whatever he needs to do as a hunter, stalking his prey. So he finds what he needs. Then verse 28.
Proverbs 12:28: In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
Now that’s not bad, but it’s not right. [Laughter.] This last part, “in the pathway thereof there is no death”, they have all these italics added, because the Hebrew technically is very difficult to translate. Matter of fact, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. But the…the essence is retained in other versions, like the Septuagint and the Aramaic and so on. And that is that it should read: First part; “In the way of righteousness is life;…” that’s okay; “…but the way of wickedness leads to death.” But the way of wickedness leads to death. And again you can see it’s an antithetic parallel. The way of wickedness as opposed to the way of righteousness. Righteousness leads to life; wickedness, the way of wickedness leads to death. See. So you have power for abundant living or weak and poverty...death or something. You have the two ways of life; or one way of life, one way of death. And this is the summation of that which has gone before in the last couple chapters. When you apply all these principles, live by these proverbs, let these proverbs be your guide in your life. Like not being lazy, like not being wicked, or not being a fool. In other words, getting smart on God’s Word, becoming diligent in your efforts that you put forth in life. And then…then, walking according to the Word, being righteous in your dealings, to explore your neighbor, to try to help your neighbor. Then, that leads to life. Righteousness, the way of righteousness is life. But on the other side, for the fool, the wicked and the lazy man, his pathway or his way, the way of the wicked is…or leads to death. Just the opposite. The contrast. That’s the summation of this section. Then we will get into another section in chapter 13. But look again at these last few verses. We haven’t studied this whole chapter but these last few verses from 24.
Proverbs 12:24: The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
The lazy man is going to have to serve. He’s going to be begging. Then, it moves to the wicked.
Proverbs 12:25a: Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop:…
And it’s the wicked that cause such heaviness.
Proverbs 12:25b: …but a good word [makes] it glad.
Then it moves into the next one.
Proverbs 12:26a: The righteous is more…
I mean “explores his neighbor.” Why? So he knows the good word to give. He knows what will edify rather than tearing down or defeating someone.
Proverbs 12:26b: …but [in contrast] the way of the wicked [misleads] them.
Causes heaviness to their heart like we read up in verse 25. Then we go back again to the slothful, the lazy man. The one’s that’s going to be under tribute. He gets no game. Because he’s too lazy to work, so he has nothing to eat. But the diligent has plenty. And then all these other things that are in these verses ahead of here. All these things if you apply them, then the conclusion is:
Proverbs 12:28: …the way of righteousness is life;…
…but the contrasting way is the way of the wicked which is death. See. The two ways of life summed up. Then you go into the next section again:
Proverbs 13:1: A wise son heareth his father’s instruction:...
So heavenly Father, we sure thank you and love you for the greatness of your Word that we can study and make it a part of our lives. That we can walk, be examples, in our words, in our behavior, in all that we do. And I thank you this night for the Corps here and around the country, for Dr. Wierwille and Rev. Martindale, for their families, for the ministry and the life of your Word that lives in the hearts of your people wherever they go. Thank you Father that we can understand your Word in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen! Good night and God bless you.