The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
In the Bible we often find God's people described as fruit bearing trees. Here in the twelfth chapter of Proverbs Solomon writes that "the root of the rigthteous yieldeth fruit" (12:12).
The wicked desire what others have captured in their nets.
The righteous produce: for themselves, and for others.
Actually God produces through us (John 15:5). Our roots are planted deeply in the love and the wisdom of God, like a tree planted by a river (Psalm 1:1-3).
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 11:30 that "the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." As the Christian maintains a close relationship to God, he/she will be a life producing, life giving, life sustaining tree. Other trees will be produced. Trees are wonderful gifts from God. They provide food and shelter.
The seeds of this tree are spread through "wholesome words." Proverbs 15:4 tells us that "a wholesome tongue is a tree of life." So, spread the word!
Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
How do you respond to the word of God? That is a very important question. God's word is the most precious and important thing we have on this earth. It is forever settled in heaven and Jesus said, "heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Mark 13:31).
We are so blessed to be able to have God's word and to read it. How we respond to it is so vital.
In our text today, Solomon says that whoever despises the word will be destroyed. The Lord warned Israel about this in Leviticus 26:13-17, saying, "if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; and if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror. . . and cause sorrow of heart. . . And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you."
People despise the word of God at their own peril.
Let us not despise, but prize God's word.
Value it as Job did. He said that he esteemed the words of God's mouth more than his necessary food (Job 23:12)!
Love it like David, who said, "I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold" (Psalm 119:127).
How should we respond to God's word?
Like a child hungry for milk - 1 Peter 2:1
Like one parched and thirsty for water - Proverbs 25:25
Like prisoner receiving his freedom - Psalm 119:45; Isaiah 61:1
Like a blind person receiving their sight - Psalm 119:130
The heart that longs for God's word and receives it with joy will be rewarded! May God give us that kind of heart!
God bless you and, Lord willing, we'll meet again tomorrow in Proverbs 14.