Strength and Fruitfulness
Proverbs 12:3, 12
A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.…

Concerning the righteous man two things are here affirmed.

I. IN HIM IS STRENGTH. "The root of the righteous shall never be moved." The strong wind comes and blows down the tree which has not struck its roots far into the foil; it tears it up by the roots and stretches it prone upon the ground. It has no strength to stand because its root is easily moved. The righteous man is a tree of another kind; his root shall never be moved; he will stand against the storm. But he must be a man who deserves to be called and considered "righteous" because he is such in deed and in truth; for they are many who pass for such of whom no such affirmation as this can be made. The man of whom the text speaks:

1. Is well rooted. He is rooted

(1) in Divine truth, and not merely in human speculation;

(2) in deep conviction, and not merely in indolent acceptance of inherited belief, or in strong but evanescent emotion;

(3) in the fixed habit of the soul and of the life, and not merely in occasional, spasmodic outbursts.

2. Is immovable. There may come against him the strong winds of bodily indulgence, or of pure affection, or of intellectual struggle and perplexity, or of worldly pressure; but they do not avail; he is immovable; his roots only strike deeper and spread further in the ground. He "stands fast in the Lord;" he is a conqueror through Christ who loves him. For:

3. He is upheld by Divine power. While his own spiritual condition and his moral habits have much to do with his steadfastness, he will be the first to say that God is "upholding him in his integrity, and setting him before his face."

II. IN HIM IS FRUITLESSNESS. "The root of the righteous yieldeth fruit" (ver. 12). The ungodly man cannot be said to bear fruit, for the product of his soul and of his life does not deserve that fair name.

1. The forms of godly fruitfulness are these:

(1) all excellency of spirit;

(2) all beauty and worthiness of life, the presence of that which is pleasing in the sight of God and admirable in the sight of man;

(3) all earnest endeavour to do good, the patient, persevering effort to instil the thoughts of Christ into the minds of men, to awaken their slumbering consciences, to lift up their lives, to ennoble their character, to enlarge their destiny.

2. The source and the security of such fruitfulness are:

(1) Union with the living Vine.

(2) Abiding in him (John 15:1-8).

(3) The wise and kind discipline of the Divine Husbandman (John 15:2; Hebrews 12:10, 11). - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

WEB: A man shall not be established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

The Man of Wisdom
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