Proverbs 17:12



The Bible says in Proverbs 17:12, “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.” If you are out in a forest, one of the most dangerous situations is to find yourself between a mother bear and her cubs. This verse says that it is just as dangerous to meet a fool. No telling what a fool will do. If you are near a fool, you are likely to be impacted by his or her foolish acts. And so the recommendation is this: stay away from fools.  


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:13, “Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.” If righteousness is going to reign in the land, then wrong-doing must be punished and doing right must be rewarded. One would think that would be common sense. Anyone who rewards evil for good is an evil person, and an evil person will reap what they sow. This is another verse that reminds us: always do the right thing. Do not go away from God and choose evil. If you do, evil will come upon you 


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:14, “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” The image here is of a water leak. Once water starts flowing out of some place, it just keeps flowing. Contention between two people is like that. Once the conflict starts, the conflict will just keep going as if it has a life of its own. You have heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys. It might be best to nip any conflict in the bud. Stop it before it starts, and then you will not have a situation where it just keeps going and going.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:15, “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.” This verse describes exactly the problem that exists in the world with the globalists, the communists, the leftists, the progressives, and the socialists. They justify the wicked just because they want to further their politic goals of acquiring or keeping power. When a decent person comes along who has good goals regarding freedom and truth, they will attack that person and demonize them. There is one nice thing: believers know the final outcome. The power that they lust for will be given to Jesus who is the King of kings and Lord of lords.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:16, “Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?” A fool cannot buy wisdom. Wisdom is a matter of the heart because wisdom comes from God. One of the benefits of turning to Jesus and getting your heart right with God is that you can start learning from the Lord, and He will give you the opportunity to grow in wisdom.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” True love never fails and never ceases. That is why you can always count on God’s love. You do not really need fair weather friends; you need a friend who will stick with you through thick and thin. It says about Jesus, “Having loved His own, He loved them unto the end.” Do you have that kind of love for your friends?


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:18, “A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.” I think this verse refers to a person who does not know how to talk to a friend. Your word should be your bond, especially with a friend. You should not have to make a pledge of any kind. If people cannot trust your word, then they cannot trust you.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:19, “He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.” Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Once you come to Christ, you will know peace. Jesus said to His disciples, “My peace I give unto you.” It says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Verse 19 associates strife with pride. Someone who “exalts his gate” is someone who is prideful of his own person and possessions. Pride leads to strife and to destruction.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:20, “He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.” The problem is in the heart of man. If your heart is not right with God because of a rebellious and disrespectful attitude, then your heart will guide you to what you are looking for: no good. And there is a direct association between your heart and your tongue. Your tongue will reveal what is in your heart, and your words will help to establish your destiny. If you have a perverse tongue, it will lead you to mischief. In other words if you say the wrong words, those words will lead you into a destiny that will bring mischief to you. If you turn to the Lord in your heart, you will have the opportunity to learn the right words.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:21, “He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.” Life can bring its sorrows. Even Jesus was called a man of sorrows and well-acquainted with grief. There are sorrows that a parent can suffer just from being a parent. The greatest suffering of life might be when a parent loses a child. God the Father lost His Son to the death of the cross. Another great sorrow is for a father to see his child become a fool instead of becoming wise. Every child eventually makes their own decisions. There are no guarantees. What if they get mixed up with the wrong crowd? What is something terrible happens to them from an emotional standpoint and they do not recover? What if they turn away from the Lord Jesus instead of turning to Him? For every person in prison there is a mother of a father or a grandparent who cries themselves to sleep every night.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” One of the goals in life is to be happy. Children seem to know that innately. That is why they are so good at playing wherever they are. It is important to be happy. God wants us to be happy. Jesus said, “Be of good cheer.” There is no greater happiness than to know that your sins are forgiven and that you are on your way to heaven. Verse 22 speaks of a “merry heart.” Happiness comes from within. You can be happy within your heart no matter what is going on around you. Your level of happiness will also affect your health. Usually, the happier you are, the healthier you will be. This is another benefit of having the joy of the Lord because you follow Jesus.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:23, “A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.” One of the things that this verse means is that we have a lot of leaders who are wicked. How is it that we have had congressmen, and senators, and presidents who have gone to Washington on a decent salary (but not one that would make them millionaires), and after a few years in Washington, they are multi-millionaires? And then why is it that they spent their careers not helping to make our nation better and not helping the common man? They perverted the ways of judgment because they took gifts. May God have mercy on us and give us better leaders who want to do the right thing instead of using their position to enrich themselves.     


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:24, “Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of the fool are in the ends of the earth.” There is plenty of wisdom to discover right before your eyes. You do not have to travel around the world to find wisdom. If you are a fool right where you are now, then you will also be a fool is you travel to Tibet or some other place. Ask God to open your eyes now where you are now, and then you will learn.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:25, “A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.” This same truth has been expressed before in the book of Proverbs. When God says something more than once, He is really trying to drive home the point. First of all, why does a son become a foolish son? He becomes foolish because he wants to. Everyone makes his or her own choices eventually. That is one of the dangers of having a child: you do not know how they are going to turn out. Adam and Eve had two sons. One became a servant of God, and the other became a murderer. If you get married and have children, here is one of the possible outcomes: grief and bitterness.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:26, “And to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.” “The just” are those who believe in Jesus. We are justified through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. From the midst of the people who do not know the Lord, will come those who will hate believers and punish them simply because they are believers. We are talking about the worse of the persecutions: murders and cruelty and lies. But God is true, and the judgment is coming.


In verse 26 “to strike princes” refers to physical violence against the proper constituted authorities. God is never in favor of that. Christians should always be the most respectful and obedient citizens in any country. Verse 26 tells us two of the great evils that exist in the world: hatred of believers and rebellion against authority. But the judgment is coming, and the Judge will correct all wrongs.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:27, “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” Many times in the Bible believers are told to be careful what they say, and to talk less. It says in the New Testament to Christians, “Be slow to speak, slow to wrath.” One of the goals of life is to have your life under control so that the lusts and selfishness of human nature do not take you over and start controlling you. Of course, you have forgiveness to rely on every day to keep you in fellowship with Jesus. Hopefully you will grow in knowledge and understanding about yourself and about spiritual truth, and you will learn to spare your words, and you will have an excellent spirit. To have an excellent spirit means you have a good attitude about life no matter what happens. You have faith in Christ, you have hope for the future, and you have love to give God and mankind.


The Bible says in Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” This is one more verse of many that tell believers to keep quiet. There is such a benefit to being quiet and keeping your mouth shut, that even a fool will be considered a man of understanding if he keeps his mouth shut.


The Bible says in Proverbs 18:1, “Through desire a man, having separated, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.” How does a person get wisdom? According to this verse, what you desire and what you seek has a lot to do with how much wisdom you have. Of course, true wisdom comes from God. Those who seek Christ will have the most important wisdom: knowledge of the way to heaven.


Why is it that fools become fools? What is the problem? It says in Proverbs 18:2, “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” Some people do not want to know what is true and right and good. And of course, they have a problem of the heart. They are stuck on themselves. They are self-centered too: selfish and self-centered. If you are foolish spiritually speaking, you do not have to remain a fool. Put your eyes on Jesus and seek the truth from Him. Jesus will save your soul.        



Copyright; 2017 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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