October 10, 2017


Proverbs 12:1–13

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  Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but he who hates reproof is stupid.
  A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
    but a man of evil devices he condemns.
  No one is established by wickedness,
    but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
  An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
    but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
  The thoughts of the righteous are just;
    the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
  The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
    but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
  The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
    but the house of the righteous will stand.
  A man is commended according to his good sense,
    but one of twisted mind is despised.
  Better to be lowly and have a servant
    than to play the great man and lack bread.
10   Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
    but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11   Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
12   Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13   An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,1
    but the righteous escapes from trouble.


[1] 12:13 Or In the transgression of the lips, there is an evil snare


Key Verse | Proverbs 12:3

No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
(Proverbs 12:3)

Central Truth

The seed of God’s Word is sown in every believer’s life. However, the seed’s first growth is the root, which serves as the believer’s foundation of faith. A sturdy root in righteousness, fed by living water, will not bend to adversity and will bear fruit in the name of Christ. 

Devotional | Proverbs 12:1–13

Today’s Scripture, like much of Proverbs, contrasts righteousness andwickedness.These verses juxtapose the impact of good and evil in our hearts (verses 1-3); relationships and counsel (verses 4-6); integrity and...

Today’s Scripture, like much of Proverbs, contrasts righteousness and wickedness. These verses juxtapose the impact of good and evil in our hearts (verses 1-3); relationships and counsel (verses 4-6); integrity and reputation (verses 7-9); and work (verses 10-12). In the midst of this wisdom, an impactful metaphor based upon the root emerges. 

In verse 3, Solomon proclaims that “the root of the righteous shall never be moved.” Later, verse 12 adds that “the root of the righteous bears fruit.” The short list of characteristics of a mature believer—one made righteous through the blood of Christ—includes a heart consistently committed to truth regardless of the situation and a life bearing fruit. Therefore, righteous roots, metaphorically speaking, are clearly important in our relationship with God.

Yet, so is the root’s essential precursor, the seed. Jesus spoke of the importance of seeds and the consequences of poor roots in the parable of the sower, which is found in each of the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In that parable, seeds represent the Word of God. The different types of soil describe the divergent conditions of our hearts as we hear God’s Word. And where a seed ultimately fell impacted its fate. More specifically, the soil impacted whether roots took hold, sprouts emerged, and eventually fruit was harvested. This parable tells us that God’s Word will take hold in our lives and bear fruit if we listen with a heart open to the gospel.

The root is the first to come after the seed, and it serves an incredibly important purpose. The root (1) acts as a foundation, anchoring the plant to the ground; (2) absorbs, stores, and distributes water and nutrients; and (3) contributes to the plant’s reproduction. A strong root will lead to a sturdy, fruit-bearing tree and will serve as an anchor against droughts and storms. God wants us to know that a sturdy root in the life of the believer, fed by living water (John 4:10), will dig deep into the ground, withstanding hard times and challenges in truth, providing an unwavering faith and a life that bears fruit.  

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Bio | Russ Brown

I grew up in Tucson, Arizona (Bear Down, Cats!), but I’m a native Texan going back at least four generations. The generational seed was firmly planted, apparently, as I returned to my Texas roots in 1999. My native Texan wife Renee and I have three awesome little native Texans: Luke (9), Garrett (7), and Evelyn (2). The roots run deep!

I help lead the legal justice ministries, Watermark Justice and Dallas Justice. One of the many functions of these awesome ministries is to plant seeds of faith and service in the hearts of lawyers both here and in several African countries. 

Discussion Questions

1. In today's passage, we learned that the root of the righteous will never be moved and will bear fruit. Are you feeding your “root” with nutrients and living water (i.e., God’s Word, corporate worship, prayer, and biblical community)?

2. Can you think of other Scripture that uses metaphors different from roots to express the importance of our faith's foundation? (Hint: take a look at Matthew 7:24-27.)

3. Do you believe righteousness comes from being good or from the goodness of Jesus Christ? Secular definitions tell us that to be righteous is to be good or virtuous. Yet, the definition does not stop there for anyone who has ever sinned (everyone), but wants to stand righteous before God. Paul tells us that righteousness before God comes from a different source. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Paul further explains in Romans that our righteousness is given to us through our faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22). Righteousness before God can only be obtained through putting our trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. If you’ve never pondered this question, or perhaps answered that righteousness comes from being a good person, consider this devotional as a seed. I pray that it falls on fertile soil and begins growing a root built in righteousness.  

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