Proverbs 13: Tree of Life, No Vain Hope

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.  Proverbs 13:12

Hope Deferred

 

13:12 The tree of life symbolizes the achievement of deeply felt desire.  It is like coming back to the Garden of Eden.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick — The delay of that which a man eagerly desires and expects is such an affliction, that it differs little from a lingering disease; but when the desire cometh — When the good desired and expected is obtained. It is a tree of life — That is, most sweet, satisfactory, and reviving to the soul.

When once a good is discovered, want of it felt, strong desire for the possession excited, and the promise of attainment made on grounds unsuspected, so that the reality of the thing and the certainty of the promise are manifest, hope posts forward to realize the blessing. Delay in the gratification pains the mind; the increase of the delay prostrates and sickens the heart; and if delay sickens the heart, ultimate disappointment kills it. But when the thing desired, hoped for, and expected comes, it is a tree of life, חיים עץ ets chaiyim, “the tree of lives;” it comforts and invigorates both body and soul. To the tree of lives, in the midst of the gardens of paradise, how frequent are the allusions in the writings of Solomon, and in other parts of the Holy Scriptures! What deep, and perhaps yet unknown, mysteries were in this tree!

12  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.  13  He who despises the word will be destroyed, But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

** We don’t wait in vain.  We don’t hope in vain.  Unbelievers may mock the hope that the believers have. Our hearts may feel sick because our desire is not fulfilled yet.  We may feel like losers who chase after a figment of our own imagination.  But it also feels like our desire is just around the corner.  When we see dark clouds in the sky, it will rain soon.


13:14 fountain of life:  In an arid land such as ancient Judah, a fountain provided water for oneself and for one’s flocks.  It was a necessity – a source of life.  That is a very strong endorsement for the law of the wise.  A fountain was also a picture for salvation (Is. 12:1-3).

14  The law of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.

13:22 In the book of Proverbs, wealth is a topic with many themes.  Wealth may come as a benefit of righteous living; but there is no guarantee of this.  Wealth cannot make a person good, and in the end it matters less than God’s favor anyway.  A good man knows this and trusts in God to meet his needs; the sinner tries to acquire and keep wealth and in the end fails.

22  A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.


13 1  A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

2  A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth, But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence.

3  He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

4  The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

5  A righteous man hates lying, But a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame.

6  Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, But wickedness overthrows the sinner.

7  There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

8  The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, But the poor does not hear rebuke.

9  The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

10  By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.

11  Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase.

12  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

13  He who despises the word will be destroyed, But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

14  The law of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.

15  Good understanding gains favor, But the way of the unfaithful is hard.

16  Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly.

17  A wicked messenger falls into trouble, But a faithful ambassador brings health.

18  Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored.

19  A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.

20  He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

21  Evil pursues sinners, But to the righteous, good shall be repaid.

22  A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

23  Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste.

24  He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

25  The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, But the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.

 

** Let the poor man say I am rich.  Let the believers say I am rich, because soon we will be.

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