Proverbs 12:2
The good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a man who devises evil.
The Blessing of the Righteous and Misery of the WickedA. F. Foster.Proverbs 12:2
The Good ManJ. Parker, D. D.Proverbs 12:2
The Man of WisdomD. J. Burrell.Proverbs 12:2
Primary TruthsE. Johnson Proverbs 12:1-3
The Downward and the Upward PathsW. Clarkson Proverbs 12:1, 15

I. THE WISDOM OF SUBMISSION, THE FOLLY OF RESISTANCE, TO REPROOF. As self-knowledge is the most precious and indispensable, and as it comes to us by chastisement, i.e. by disappointment, humiliation, pain of various kinds, - to welcome correction, to be willing and anxious to know our faults, is the mark of true wisdom. To fret at reproof, to be angry with the counsellor, to hate the revealing light, is the worst folly and stupidity.

II. THE FAVOUR AND THE DISFAVOUR OF GOD ARE DISCRIMINATING. The good reap his good will; the crafty and malicious are exposed to his condemnation.

III. MORAL STABILITY AND INSTABILITY. Wickedness gives no firm foundation. The bad man is insecure, as a tottering wall or a leaning fence. The good man is like the oak, firmly and widely rooted, which may defy a thousand blasts and storms. - J.

A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord.
There is s marked difference between the righteous and the wicked both in their characteristics and in their condition.


1. The righteous has the favour of the Lord (ver. 2). In the Divine favour is the guarantee of all good.

2. The righteous is firmly fixed (ver. 3).

3. He is wiser in his speech (ver. 6).

4. His blessings are continued to his children (ver. 71.

5. He wins the confidence of his fellow-men. In spiritual privileges, at least, the good man gains advantages of inestimable worth. Some of the advantages of the righteous man are specified. Because he is industrious, he —

(1)Shall have plenty of bread.

(2)His labour shall not be without results.

(3)He shall somehow come out of trouble triumphant.

(4)He shall be satisfied with good (vers. 11-14).The longings of the child of God are so controlled and directed that in time they are fully met. They keep themselves within the channels of the Divine will, and so are never stranded and wrecked by their self-will.

II. THE PASSAGE PICTURES THE MISERY OF THE WICKED. This consists, first of all, in the disapproval of God; then in the disapproval of his fellow-men. By their misdeeds the wicked forfeit the esteem of the public, and this is a blow they find hard to bear. A wrong course of conduct is also sure to ensnare one in difficulties. Each sin is a misstep which brings one into new entanglements. One lie necessitates another to bolster it. The immediate results of sin may not be seen to be evil. But the end is sure to come. Sin persisted in brings ruin. The end of unrepented wrong is sure. The law of moral turpitude cannot be broken.

III. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF BOTH THESE CLASSES. The wicked are marked by a dislike for reproof. Their very sinfulness is an indication that they are void of understanding. They are self-conceited. An indifference to the opinions of others, a certain self-assurance, an unwillingness to learn, these are some of the characteristics of the wicked. Another almost certain indication of wrong-doing is the keeping of bad company. The wrong-doer "followeth after vain persons." He naturally seeks those of his own kind. His conduct is all in the line of injury to others. Selfishness has in it the seeds of cruelty. Self is steadily seeking its own gratification, and does not stop at any injury to others who chance to stand in its way. The characteristics of the righteous are —

1. He loveth knowledge. He is honestly seeking to find out what it is best to do. Hence he gladly welcomes correction. He does not shrink from reproof.

2. His thoughts are just. He desires to treat all rightly and to give every man his just dues. His thoughts even are under control in this matter. Not only does he not do others wrong, but he has no wish to; nor even does the thought of evil rise up in his mind.

(A. F. Foster.)

I. THE RELATION OF THE MAN OF WISDOM TO GOD. He is in favour with God, whereas the man of unwisdom is condemned of God (ver. 2). The ethics of Proverbs is most deeply religious. All moral obligations derive from the Creator, and the foundation of wisdom is over and over again stated to be in the fear of the Lord. Many a moral teacher fails because he tries to induce men to act right without first setting their hearts right.


1. He is truthful.

2. He is receptive.

3. He has good practical judgment.

4. He is industrious.

5. He is kind-hearted.


1. He has honour from others. That man only has true honour whose name is honestly revered. Such reverence comes only to that nobility of character whose spring is in that heart-wisdom which consists in the fear of the Lord.

2. Such a character brings honour to others.

3. Such a man is safe from embroilments with others. A man without principle is always getting into troubles from which the righteous escape.


1. The wise man has a return for his devotion to that which is good. Satisfaction is dealt out to him.

2. In this passage the character of the result is described.

3. Stability is specially noted as one of the rewards of the good.

(D. J. Burrell.)

By a good man we are to understand a benevolent man; that is, a man who always wills happiness to others and carries forward his benevolence into the active form of beneficence. The good man is not an intellectual fop, or a moral phenomenon, but is well disciplined, thoroughly chastened, adjusted in all his faculties, and sometimes concealing exceptional excellences under a general average of fine nature; that is to say, instead of living in his eccentricities and making a reputation out of his occasional excellences he brings down these mountains and irregularities and smooths them so as to consolidate a general average of true worth. Whoever does good is an ally of God; he is in immediate co-operation with Him.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Bringeth, Condemn, Condemneth, Condemns, Crafty, Designs, Devices, Devises, Evil, Favor, Favour, Forth, Gets, Grace, Mischievous, Obtain, Obtaineth, Obtains, Punishment, Wicked
1. Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Proverbs 12:2

     5769   behaviour
     5948   shrewdness

The Many-Sided Contrast of Wisdom and Folly
'Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. 2. A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. 3. A man shall not be established by wickedness; but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. 4. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. 5. The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. 6. The words of the wicked are to lie
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

April the Twenty-Second Speech as a Symptom of Health
"The tongue of the wise is health." --PROVERBS xii. 13-22. Our doctors often test our physical condition by the state of our tongue. With another and deeper significance the tongue is also the register of our condition. Our words are a perfect index of our moral and spiritual health. If our words are unclean and untrue, our souls are assuredly sickly and diseased. A perverse tongue is never allied with a sanctified heart. And, therefore, everyone may apply a clinical test to his own life: "What
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

To Pastors and Teachers
To Pastors and Teachers If all who laboured for the conversion of others were to introduce them immediately into Prayer and the Interior Life, and make it their main design to gain and win over the heart, numberless as well as permanent conversions would certainly ensue. On the contrary, few and transient fruits must attend that labour which is confined to outward matters; such as burdening the disciple with a thousand precepts for external exercises, instead of leaving the soul to Christ by the
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

Of Having Confidence in God when Evil Words are Cast at Us
"My Son, stand fast and believe in Me. For what are words but words? They fly through the air, but they bruise no stone. If thou are guilty, think how thou wouldst gladly amend thyself; if thou knowest nothing against thyself, consider that thou wilt gladly bear this for God's sake. It is little enough that thou sometimes hast to bear hard words, for thou art not yet able to bear hard blows. And wherefore do such trivial matters go to thine heart, except that thou art yet carnal, and regardest
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Ninth Commandment
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.' Exod 20: 16. THE tongue which at first was made to be an organ of God's praise, is now become an instrument of unrighteousness. This commandment binds the tongue to its good behaviour. God has set two natural fences to keep in the tongue, the teeth and lips; and this commandment is a third fence set about it, that it should not break forth into evil. It has a prohibitory and a mandatory part: the first is set down in plain words, the other
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The Authority and Utility of the Scriptures
2 Tim. iii. 16.--"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." We told you that there was nothing more necessary to know than what our end is, and what the way is that leads to that end. We see the most part of men walking at random,--running an uncertain race,--because they do not propose unto themselves a certain scope to aim at, and whither to direct their whole course. According to men's particular
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God, and his Righteousness, and all These Things Shall be Added unto You. "
Matth. vi. 33.--"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." The perfection even of the most upright creature, speaks always some imperfection in comparison of God, who is most perfect. The heavens, the sun and moon, in respect of lower things here, how glorious do they appear, and without spot! But behold, they are not clean in God's sight! How far are the angels above us who dwell in clay! They appear to be a pure mass of light and
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Many specimens of the so-called Wisdom Literature are preserved for us in the book of Proverbs, for its contents are by no means confined to what we call proverbs. The first nine chapters constitute a continuous discourse, almost in the manner of a sermon; and of the last two chapters, ch. xxx. is largely made up of enigmas, and xxxi. is in part a description of the good housewife. All, however, are rightly subsumed under the idea of wisdom, which to the Hebrew had always moral relations. The Hebrew
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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