1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. 2 Good people obtain favour from the LORD, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes. 3 No one can be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted. 4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. 5 The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful. 6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. 7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm. (Prov. 12:1-7 NIV)
1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
The one who embraces knowledge and wisdom will love discipline because through discipline they will be corrected and learn more. We are sometimes more interested in being free from discipline and the pain that it inevitably brings rather than being free from sin. We shun the trial more than the sin. The Teacher is trying to correct this view so that we see and understand the benefit of discipline. The one who hates and refuses correction is stupid. It is short-sighted to want to be free from the correction. Wisdom should teach us that the correction is there for our benefit. The world seeks to be trouble free, not sin free, and Christians should be careful not to copy that attitude.
2 Good people obtain favour from the LORD,
but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.
Good people are those who operate from a self-sacrificing motive of love. They are the people who have experienced the love of God and they seek to share that love with others. These people have already received the favour of the Lord and they continue to enjoy the Lord’s favour. The opposite are those who are motivated by evil, and they plot and plan evil schemes. These people will receive the condemnation of God. The message of reassurance is that evil people and their plans will not succeed in the end. Evil governments will fail, evil people promoting evil propaganda about evil laws and practices will fail and receive God’s condemnation. How long O Lord?
3 No one can be established through wickedness,
but the righteous cannot be uprooted.
Wickedness has no firm foundation. It is like the house built on the sand. The storm of judgement will sweep it away. The lesson for us is to be sure that we don’t invest in wickedness. A small amount of evil intent may gain us temporary triumph or satisfaction, but it will not last. Righteousness will not and cannot be uprooted. This is like the house built upon the rock. Solidity of life can never be found through fleeing God’s path and choosing one’s own way. The one who sinks the roots of their choices, allegiance and commitment deep into God and His ways will find security and longevity.
4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
The description ‘a wife of noble character’ is not primarily referring to the virtue of a wife but rather it refers to her strength of character and significant competency in dealing with life. The metaphor of a wife of noble character being her husband’s crown means the respect that he gains in the community because of the good reputation of his wife. In contrast a disgraceful wife lowers the reputation that the husband has in the community.
5 The plans of the righteous are just,
but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.
Those who fear the Lord are the righteous and their thoughts and plans are just. They are concerned that before both God and people that their plans will be just and will be seen to be just. They are concerned with the impact that their plans will have on others. In contrast the advice of the wicked is deceitful. Their schemes are self-serving and they will act deceitfully in order to advantage themselves.
6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the speech of the upright rescues them.
The thoughts and plans discussed in V5 are now expressed audibly in words. The wicked use their words to ambush people. Some people will ask questions to try and entrap or embarrass someone. They are not really interested in the answer, they are just laying a trap. An upright person is transparent in their speech. They don’t seek to entrap or embarrass anyone. One of the stated objectives of seeking wisdom is to deliver you from the evil way. The speech of the upright can rescue others from the way of the wicked.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous stands firm.
What the wicked have plotted and planned for others comes back on them and they are overthrown and are no more. The house of the righteous is not restricted to the building that they live in, but embraces the family. They will stand firm.
Lord God enable us by Your Holy Spirit to be able to stay free from the evil way. Help us to love righteousness and to always want to walk in Your way. Help us to learn the wisdom that the Teacher is giving us and to meditate upon this wisdom so that we can apply this to our lives, because we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.