PROVERB PRACTICALS the root means everything, proverbs 12:12, audio
Proverbs 12:12, The wicked desireth the net of evil men; but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
In our proverb for today we are given a typical contrast between those who are classified by God as wicked and those who are classified as righteous.
For God’s word tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
So based upon that absolute we all come into this world in the first condition, which is wicked, but somehow, in order for this proverb to be true, there must be a path on which a person can go from being wicked to being righteous.
Of course, we as believers know that path to be the God-Man Jesus Christ who told us that He is the Way.
So Jesus Christ is the Way, Jesus Christ is the path, upon which a person moves from the category of wicked to the category of righteous.
And in this action no credit goes to the one on the path, for all credit goes to the path.
As we sing in the Hymn:
All glory to Jesus, begotten of God, the great I AM is He!
Now this transaction, moving from a condition of wickedness to a condition of righteousness, moves a person from the world’s economy to God’s economy.
I use the word “economy” in the sense of the management, regulation and government of a family.
So what takes place in this transaction concerns the moving from one family to another family, the moving from Satan’s family to God’s family.
And the operation and management of these two families are poles apart.
This vast gap between families is revealed in our proverb by the use of the words, “desireth or desire” and “yieldeth or yields.”
I remember well in my Christian life coming to an understanding of this transition from wickedness to righteousness, for after several years into my Christian walk I realized that the fruit of the Spirit was ripening in my life.
For it dawned on me, almost as a surprise, that there was now in my life: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, things which were absent before I had been born of the Spirit.
Before my salvation, before my spiritual birth I had desired some of these things and I labored to have them in my life but was always unsuccessful.
Now after my salvation the difference was that God brought them forth in my life and that is what is described here in our proverb for the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
The things that I desired before, I could not attain but by the Spirit of God, who is the Root, they were given.
In God’s economy desireth turned to yieldeth.
Works which could not attain turned to Grace which could attain.
In my wicked state all my righteousness was as filthy rags, all my desires could not be reached, but the Root of the righteous yielded all that desire could not achieve.
So the economy of Satan is wrapped around personal desire, personal goals and personal purposes and a life devoted to securing them.
We like to call this the American dream for this is what we are told to seek after and this is what our economy is all about.
Are we not simply consumers eating up the products so we can eat some more tomorrow?
Horribly this is the extent, this is the range of the wicked, this is the desire, the reason for being, of the wicked.
But the economy of God involves a yielding to God who with that yielding brings into the lives of His children all that is best.
It is the change from “my will” to “thy will” and with this change we are no longer tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, by men who lie in wait to deceive.
Now in those whose lives are invested in the doing of “my will,” in the doing of the will of the wicked, our proverb tells us the net of evil men is desired.
This is another way of saying that the wicked are moved to gather as a fisherman with a net is moved to gather.
They are moved to work at gathering to themselves everything that they do not have and to protect from others that which they do have.
The wicked are restless, always pressing toward things not yet experienced or enjoyed.
They cast their net, moved by desire without any thought of what that realized desire will bring.
The wicked desire to be a master of the arts and methods used to trap men in their devices, oppressing them so as to get what they have under their control.
Wicked men are hunters and gatherers of what others have in order to fortify themselves from others of like wickedness.
Wicked men have great appetite for earthly things for upon this earth they invest their lives.
They desire and seek to be rich, they seek to have power over men, they seek comfort and ease, and will not let conscience, honesty or integrity hinder their ambition.
Like birds of a feather who flock together, wicked men emulate other wicked men and learn and adopt net making and trap building in order to ensnare those who have what they want.
The Psalmist speaks of the wicked in:
Psalm 10:1-11, Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? 2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices (the nets) that they have imagined. 3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth. 4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. 5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. 6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. 7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. 8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. 9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. 10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. 11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
And Jerimiah speaks of them in Jerimiah 5:26-28, For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. 28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.
They desire the net, not of honest men, not of men of integrity, but the net of evil men.
Their houses are full of deceit which their nets have brought in from other evil men.
They trade secrets in evil in order to realize their desires.
The wicked join together in cunning ways desiring the net or the snare of evil men.
And don’t we help them by bringing them together in our prisons and jails?
Amnon the son of David sought out the cunning ways of Jonadab, his friend, in order to molest Absalom’s sister, who was also his half-sister.
Jonadab readily provided the net of intimidation and the sinful act was accomplished.
Jezebel, Ahab’s wife was a net maker for she was always ready to provide her husband with the tools to capture the innocent and Ahab coveted Naboth’s vineyard.
I Kings 21:7-14, And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. 8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. 9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: 10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. 11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. 12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. 13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.
God gives account of wicked men in the church who go about casting nets full of crafty devices designed to gather to themselves men for their own gain and power.
The church of Ephesus had left their first love due to wicked men who called themselves apostles but were liars and the deeds of the Nicolaitanes were corrupt calling on God to hate their deeds.
To the church of Smyrna God recalled the blasphemous ones who were of the synagogue of Satan.
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos God brought to light those that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block, a net, before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
And remember the wicked in Thyatira who continued to suffer or allow a Jezebel, a woman who called herself a prophetess, and taught God’s servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
Sardis was a church who also was influenced by the wicked for God tells that there were only a few names in Sardis which had not defiled their garments.
Wicked men full of devices, spreading their nets, and member of the church of Laodicea, were an abomination to God who wished to spew them out of His mouth.
Rich with goods and in need of nothing, having drawn in their nets, with gold not tried in the fire.
And all of these wicked who displayed themselves in church past continue in church present for without the transforming power of God they lie helpless in the clutches of their family Head, the old serpent, Satan, the devil.
The natural man desires the things of the world, the spiritual man waits for fruit from above.
But the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
This declares that the righteous man has a root and that root is for the purpose of yielding fruit.
Psalm 1 declares this also, where it is recorded
Psalm 1:3-6, And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Isaiah 61 says they are called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He will be glorified.
God is a husbandman and he is in the business of harvesting fruit that brings him glory and therefore all who trust in him are given root that they might bear fruit.
But the ungodly are like chaff which is a material removed from the fruit and cast aside as refuse to be blown away by the wind, never again to be identifiable.
In scripture, false doctrines, fruitless designs, hypocrites and ungodly men are compared to chaff.
The righteous are compared to a tree having roots, but not only a tree with roots but a tree, forever given sustenance in order that it always yield fruit.
The righteous man is attached to an anchor whereas the wicked man has no anchor and is blown around every which way with no direction.
Jesus said, I am the vine, ye are the branches He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.
And only by being attached to the vine, only by being attached to the Root will there be fruit.
This is why Jesus said, for without me ye can do nothing.
And inherent in this statement is the security of the branch that is attached to the vine.
For Jesus tells of this as He continues in John 15:
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
So part of the yielding of fruit is that attachment to the root brings security and protection from the net of evil men.
The wicked cannot attain security and protection for they do not abide in the vine, they have no connection to the root and therefore are free as the chaff, but only free to be cast into the fire and they are burned.
Only God can give the righteous, root.
Only God can firmly fix the righteous so that they shall not be moved for God plants the roots deep.
Movement is impossible to those who set the Lord before him always:
The psalmist captured this thought in Psalm 16:8, I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
He shall not be moved because he has root in the love of God which is the source of all good things.
He has root in God’s grace and the blessings of grace, faith hope and love.
He has root in the person of Christ, the source of all spiritual blessings, of salvation and eternal life.
The total being of the righteous have Christ as their root.
They are carried by him, they have all their life in him, all fruit comes from him.
In all things he is preeminent.
Any grace, holiness, fruitfulness, any perseverance, any endurance, any good thing, any good work only comes by attachment to the root.
The wicked desires, the righteous wait for the yield, knowing the root will bring forth fruit, abundant fruit, always satisfying the husbandman.
Proverbs 12:12, The wicked desireth the net of evil men; but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.