Proverbs 11–12: Character & Consequences

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 29: Thursday

A good man will obtain favor from the LORD,
But He will condemn a man who devises evil.

Proverbs 12:2

Thursday’s Bible reading is Proverbs 11–12. These chapters are a collection of individual proverbs with underlying themes of character, actions and reactions, and consequences. In Proverbs 2–3: Wisdom & Life, I discussed the teaching device of compare and contrast used in proverbs.  If you missed that post or you are unfamiliar with the style of Proverbs, you might want to go back and read through it.

There are numerous words used as synonyms for the wise and the foolish man as well as various descriptions of character. Righteous and wicked are used throughout chapters 11 and 12, and there are others as well. You can learn a lot by listing all the different synonyms, comparing them and thinking about what each teaches about the wise or the foolish.

The actions of the wise and foolish are given and the consequences of those actions—to their standing before God, to themselves and to others. Here’s an example from the theme of the tongue that’s found in many verses in Proverbs 12:

“There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Truthful lips will be established forever,
But a lying tongue is only for a moment.”
Proverbs 12:18–19

Here’s a proverb on the general influence that is a consequence of being righteous or wicked:

“The righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
But the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
Proverbs 12:26

The last verse in chapter 12 is a broad summation that clearly lays out the importance of wisdom:

“In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.”
Proverbs 12:28

Isaiah 42 Photograph: – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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