Proverbs 13:10-12 will be our focus today as we continue our pursuit of godly wisdom in our study of the Book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 13:10 – “Only by pride [insolence; presumption; arrogance] cometh [yield; make] contention [strife; debate; quarrel]: but with the well advised [wise counsel; plan] is wisdom [skillful use of knowledge].”
Conflict and strife are inevitable in a world dominated by sinful pride. If we are honest, it takes little provocation for any one of us to be swept up in a duel of egos stoked by pride in a vacuum of humility. Nations go to war, churches split, families’ splinter, marriages crumble and friendships are destroyed because of pride.
Pride is arrogant, presumptuous and deaf, but with the wise is a desire to seek, hear and heed wise counsel.
Proverbs 13:11 – “Wealth gotten by vanity [dishonesty] shall be diminished [comes to nothing]: but he that gathereth [collect; take up; harvest] by labour shall increase [wealth acquired by hard work increases].”
Riches and possessions come to naught when gained dishonestly or inherited by those who have not borne the yoke of labor. Like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-14), too many heirs acquire their family’s wealth, but bear no sense of stewardship and responsibility for their family’s trust. Like the winners of a lottery whose lives are ruined by instant wealth, many are the sons and daughters whose lives are destroyed by riches.
The man who has labored faithfully appreciates the harvest of his labors in the winter of his life.
Proverbs 13:12 – “Hope [expectation] deferred [prolonged; put off] maketh the heart sick [dissatisfactions leads to grief]: but when the desire [satisfaction; longing; delight] cometh, it is a tree of life [alive; fresh; life giving].”
Hope is the longing of every soul; however, the natural, sinful man is a hopeless soul. Ephesians 2:12 describes him as “having no hope”. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 reminds us the lost bury their dead and go to their graves having “no hope”. A hopeless man is a miserable soul!
Hope is a treasured possession in the breast of one who has confidence that Christ was crucified for his sins, buried and rose victorious over sin and the grave (1 Peter 1:3)! Christ is described in 1 Timothy 1:1 as “our hope” and the promise of the Second Coming of Christ as “that blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
My friend, don’t despair over the hopeless state of this world… if you know Jesus Christ as Savior, look for His coming and when He comes all sorrows will pass away!