Two conversations with two different culminations are illustrated in today’s devotion from Proverbs 12:13-14. These two verses offer us a contrast between the words and conversation of the wicked and those of the just and upright.
Proverbs 12:13 – “The wicked [evil; bad] is snared [trapped; caught] by the transgression [trespass; sin; guilt; rebellion] of his lips [speech]: but the just [righteous; lawful] shall come out [come forth; move away] of trouble [distress; adversity].”
What is there about a wicked man’s lips that ensnare him? The answer is obvious—his lies, gossip, slander and threats. The natural, unsaved man is inclined to lie and deceive. It is his innate nature to deceive (John 8:44). Children lie, parents lie, spouses lie, preachers lie and politicians lie. Indeed, when a man speaks truth it is often unwelcome by the sea of liars surrounding him.
Sinful man’s proclivity to lie often puts good men in a position that appears disadvantageous to the rest of society. Children lie and parents smile. Employees lie and are rewarded. Leaders lie to their constituents and are reelected. In fact, the wheels of justice turn so slow we wonder if God hears the cry of the just for vindication.
Proverbs 12:14 – “A man shall be satisfied [full; have plenty; nourished] with good [favor] by the fruit [benefits; reward] of his mouth [speech; good words yield satisfaction; no regrets]: and the recompence [reward; benefit] of a man’s hands [power; work; labor] shall be rendered [lit. return again and again] unto him.”
Solomon assures the just and upright that, while the lips of the wicked eventually ensnare them, God will deliver His people out of trouble. A good man, in contrast to the wicked, will by his honest and upright speech have no fear of entrapment because his “yea is yea and his nay is nay” (James 5:12).
James 5:12 – “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith