Pathways Through Proverbs
March 12, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 12
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Following Scripture Verses
- Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
- A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
- A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
- A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
- The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
- The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
- The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.
- A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
- He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
- A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
- He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
- The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
- The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
- A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
- The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
- A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
- He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
- There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
- The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
- Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.
- There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
- Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
- A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
- The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
- Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
- The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
- The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
- In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
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In today's passage Solomon contrasts the levels of mercy shown by the righteous and the wicked. He begins by showing that a righteous man not only has compassion on other people, but he even has compassion for his animals. It is important for us to notice this, particularly in light of the claims being made by "animal rights" activists. Men are Biblically responsible to regard the condition of their animals. They should see to it that they are properly fed and cared for. However, this does not mean that animals should be considered to be equal to humans. Genesis 1:27-28 clearly teach that men were made in the image of God and were not only given dominion over the animal kingdom, but were, in fact, commanded to subdue it. To give animals "rights", or to say that animals can not be domesticated or eaten (Genesis 9:2-3) is in direct contradiction to the Scriptures.
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Having said that, it is also true that a man who is righteous will show mercy to his animals. They may exist purely for the man's benefit, but he will still want to treat them properly, and never cruelly. Contrast this with the "mercy" of the wicked man. He is not only cruel to his animals, but he is cruel to everyone. Even at his best he is simply mean-spirited. He does not show mercy to others: if they have offended him he goes right after them with as much venom as he can muster. If another individual fails to please him, he cuts that person off either physically or verbally with no thought for their needs or condition. He is only concerned with himself, and anything that does not immediately benefit him can be discarded. However, a righteous man is not self-centered, and thus he cares not only about other people, but even the beasts of the field.
How a man treats others, even animals, indicates his relationship with the Lord.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery