Proverbs 13:19-25

Proverbs 13:19‑25  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
As hope deferred makes the heart sick, so the fruition of what is desired is pleasant, but not unless the desire be governed by the fear of God. Without His will not anything is wise, good, or sweet. Hence we read what follows, “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul; but [it is] abomination to the foolish to depart from evil.
He that walketh with wise [men] becometh wise; but a companion of the foolish will be destroyed.
Evil pursueth sinners; but to the righteous good shall be repaid.
A good [man] leaveth an inheritance to his children's children; but the sinner's wealth [is] laid up for the righteous.
Much food [is in] the tillage of the poor; but there is [that is] lost through injustice [or, want of judgment].
He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him seeketh him early with discipline.
The righteous eateth to satisfy his desire; but the belly of the wicked shall want” (vers. 19-25).
There is no sweetness for the soul at God's expense. He it is that is looked to, instead of leaving Him out. But when He leads and sanctions, sweet is the accomplishment of what is desired. If He chastens what is wrong or leads to it, He has pleasure in gratifying His children beyond any earthly father. But to the natural heart, foolish in excluding Him and His will, what is so repulsive as to depart from evil?
As the fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom, so the heart values the company and counsel of the wise; and walking with them furnishes good lessons. But a companion of the foolish too surely proves where his heart is, cannot avoid being depraved by their evil communications, and unless delivered shall be destroyed.
For who can evade the witness that “evil pursueth sinners,” whatever their apparent prosperity for a while? The leaving them for a season only precipitates and makes more terrible the end of unavailing sorrow and despair. How truly shall good be repaid to the righteous? God will be no man's debtor. The Christian without doubt is called to share Christ's sufferings, not perhaps for Him, but assuredly with Him. No such earthly prosperity is promised him as was to the pious Jew. On the contrary they that desire to live piously in Christ Jesus must endure persecution. But the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to compare with the coming glory to be revealed unto us. In every way and time good shall be repaid to the righteous. God can never cease to be God.
A good man resembles Him who found him evil and by grace made him a partaker of a divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust. Blessed of God, he leaves an inheritance, if not of gold or silver, better still, and abiding to his children's children. The wealth of the sinner, great as it may seem, is laid up for the just. Ungodliness may prepare, devise, and entail; but God cares for those who serve Him. Thus the just shall put on the clothing meant for others, and the innocent shall divide the silver if He think fit.
Again, how true it is, in God's ways, that “much food is in the tillage of the poor”! The soul that looks to Him does not murmur nor aspire after greater things. The little that is given is accepted with thankfulness, and diligent labor is applied, with the result of “much food.” On the other hand, who does not know of great possessions squandered for want of judgment, if not for actual injustice? There is that is destroyed by lack of judgment. The language is divinely accurate, and in no way exaggerated. It may not as yet appear always; but it is the fact, and often plain enough to warn the heedless.
There is another form of following God's ways in the due correction of the family. How many of the godly have spared the rod, and thus failed in love to their sons! Here is laid down the warning and the sort of love: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him, or seeketh him early with discipline.” To spare is really to please one's self, and harm deeply one's son.
Further, the little things of daily life test whether we have God and His will before us. “The righteous eateth to satisfy his desire [or, soul]; but the belly of the wicked shall want,” as the retribution even here of this selfish indulgence. “Whether then ye eat or drink, do all things to God's glory.” This keeps us and pleases Him.