PROVERB PRACTICALS   THE FRUIT BEARING OF WORDS AND WORKS, proverbs 12:14, audio

 

Proverbs 12:14, A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth; and the recompense of a manís hand shall be rendered unto him.

 New American Standard Version:  A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, And the deeds of a manís hands will return to him.

New International Version:  From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward.

 This proverb, as is true in so many of the proverbs, is not a contrast between the wicked or what is wicked, and the righteous or what is righteous. 

 No, it is a proverb about fruit that is generated two ways. 

 For it tells us that fruit can be generated from the mouth and from the hands.

 James captured the thought of fruit bearing in word and deed when he wrote in his epistle in chapter 1, verse 22:

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

In his instruction he naturally connects word with works for word without works is vain. (Put your money where your mouth is)

None of us live a day without using words.  

The work of a preacher, a teacher, in fact the work of anyone who lives is a work of words. 

Just think of the fruit of words that result when the Gospel is preached. 

Paul told of this to the Corinthians in I Corinthians 1:21, For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 

Saving them is the harvest brought by words.

God tells us in Isaiah 55:11 about the prosperity his word brings when it is sowed.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 

Think about the harvest that Godís word will bring into the barns.

In this proverb God, in choosing to use the word ďfruitĒ wants us to think of the use of words the same way we use seed.   

He wants us to think about the use of words as though the words were seeds to be planted with the eventual hope of a harvest.

He wants us to think of our daily walk in the same way a farmer walks his plowed furrows planting seed. 

For no farmer plants seed without a hope of a harvest. 

No farmer is careless in his use of seed for each seed has within it a hope of fruit that will not only bless the farmer but will bless those who partake of the fruit.

And no farmer with deliberation or foreknowledge plants rotten seed, seed that is beyond its ability to produce fruit, for the farmer knows there is no other purpose in planting seed than to produce fruit. 

And no farmer leaves his seed in the barn for seed kept from being planted will never bear fruit. 

For God has so made things that rewards are the result of effort, harvests are the result of planting and to be satisfied with good from your mouth or your hands, both are required to participate.

Now here again we bump up against Godís word which tells us to be very careful in what our mouth and hands participate in for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.   

What kind of seed does your mouth sow? 

What kind of work do your hands sow?

Isaiah tells in Isaiah 3:10-11,  Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.  Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

God has so arranged things in his creation that all will come out well and in accordance with His will and that includes both the work of the mouth and the work of the hands.

When Paul told the Romans in chapter 8 verse 28 that all things work together for good he applied that to those who love God. 

And to those who love God, God equips them with seed and hands that will bear good fruit.

So our proverb speaks of that which returns to the man by what comes out of his mouth and what comes forth from his hands.

This reminds us of the truth expressed in Ecclesiastes 11:1 which says: Cast thy bread upon the waters for thou shalt find it after many days. 

There is personal reward in giving good words and good works 

Good fruit out of the mouth will bring to the man satisfaction. 

Good work from the manís hands will bring recompense which means payment or compensation. 

Good words will bring joy. 

Proverbs 15:23 says, A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! 

And Isaiah 50:4 tells of the learned tongue, The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. 

We are made in the image of God and are to revere and lift up word as God lifts up word.   

God so lifts up word that he gives to his Son the name of Word.   

In the beginning was the Word.   

And as sons of the Word we too consist of word.   

God in making us the image of his son desires that we also lift up word by that which proceeds out of our mouth.   

God in speaking to us through his Son always speaks to us ďword fitly spokenĒ and it will never return unto him void.   

There is always fruit returned to God by the sowing of his word. 

Proverbs 25:11 tells us, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 

This proverb, so beautifully constructed, is word fitly spoken for God brings us to focus our eyes on desirable golden apples framed by a beautiful silver vessel.   

Fitly spoken word is so presented that the hearer desires to take the word in as he would a delectable golden apple from a silver chalice. 

The word is presented and framed in such a way as to excite the hearer to take the word and act upon it. 

In other words there is a way that words spoken will be accepted more readily if spoken properly or fitly. 

God expects us to present words in a way that enhance the attractiveness of truth.   

Words that frame truth in a way that attracts, a way that enhances the word's ability to accomplish a purpose. 

Truth can be presented in such a way that it repels.   

But God desires that truth be presented in a fitting way, in an acceptable way.   

As God's child we are not to use words that are unfit, words that do not fit the times or the seasons or the temperament or the age, words that are not acceptable.   

Words that are dragged along, or forced but words that roll smoothly along like wheels.   

That is speaking words fitly. 

As Job said in Job 6:25, How forcible are right words! 

Look at Jesus Christ as the Word of God.   

Jesus is the Word of God, totally fitly spoken by God.   

Remember his discourses on living water, the bread of life, the new birth, and how they arose naturally in the conversation. 

He is the ultimate example of the word fitly spoken. 

Look at the written Word of God and its fitness.   

How it fits the times and the seasons and the temperament and the age.   

Word fitly spoken is that which God uses to accomplish his purpose.   

He spoke the worlds into existence by word fitly spoken. 

God believes in fitness and we see that everything he does fits together. 

All the trees of a forest fit together.   

The leaves fall at random and yet fit the scheme of the forest.   

All the worlds he called into being fit together. 

And all his word fits together in the person of Jesus Christ. 

Word then, fitly spoken, is the will of God for those created in the image of God.   

We are created in God's image and even our word fitly spoken does not return unto us void.  

He accomplishes his purpose with his word and our word should do the same.   

A word fitly spoken accomplishes its mission.   

It is not just spoken to be spoken.   

It is not spoken just to relieve our conscience. 

I must not say it just to make me feel good or to get it off my chest.   

Words are to be spoken to accomplish a purpose. 

If rebuke, it must be fitly spoken, spoken to accomplish a purpose of correction.   

If instruction it must be fitly spoken to be most effective.   

If it is to be a word of encouragement it must be fitly spoken if encouragement is to be realized. 

God expects his Word to be fitly preached so that truth will attract his own. 

That is why we must be prudent with our words.   

We must be slow to speak as James 1:19, tells us:  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 

As in fitting anything, fitting speech takes thought and it takes time.   

As is true in many concerns of life, prayer must be included in the fitting.   

They must be words of truth and if spoken we must consider not only what we say, but to whom we say it, the time we say it, and the place we say it. 

And speaking in this manner will bring a man to be satisfied with the fruit of his lips.   

This man will not be one to wish his words disappear.   

This man will not regret words that come from his mouth for they will be words that return fruit to him that will bless him. 

This man will bring forth words of life to others using his mouth to broadcast the Good News that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and whosoever believeth on Him shall be saved.

This man will be a fountain of wholesome advice, good instruction and sound doctrine that will be given as water flows to a thirsty man. 

Water that is welcome and satisfies both speaker and hearer.  

Paul captured this truth in I Timothy 4:6, If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

Paul told Timothy that in ministering the word to others Timothy himself would be nourished.

We see this truth in the person of our Lord who issued forth fruit on all occasions for he is the Living Word. 

Every word which came from his mouth brought forth life and he was satisfied with good. 

Remember the wonderful words of truth he spoke to the woman of Samaria, the woman who came to the well. 

Jesus said to her:  If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Jesus continued to bring forth the fruit of his mouth drawing her unto himself until she went to the city  and said, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 

So she too entered into fruit bearing with her mouth of witness which would turn about and brings blessings upon her. 

And so it was with Christ for John in:

John 4:31-36 tells us that which returned to Jesus by his witness to the woman of Samaria:

In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

There is nothing more satisfying than to use the mouth to do the will of God for it always bears fruit. 

Jesus dined on meat that day for his meat was to do the will of God and in bringing the woman to himself glory was brought to His Father. 

Proverbs 12:14, A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth; and the recompense of a manís hand shall be rendered unto him.