"The wicked covet the catch of evil men, but the root of the righteous yields fruit" (Prov. 12:12, NKJV).
The book of Proverbs is wisdom wrapped up in pithy sayings and parabolic structure meant to challenge, provoke and invite the reader into realms of revelation and levels of breakthrough.
Each word feels handcrafted; specifically selected for maximum impact. The invitation is to hear the voice of "Wisdom" shouting in the streets.
Two voices are presented to us: the voice of the foolish and adulterous (Prov. 7:12-23), and the voice of prudent revelation knowledge (Prov. 8:1-11). Two voices are presented to mankind, two choices laid before each of us. One voice leads to blessing, honor and life. The other leads to ruin, destruction and shame.
"The wicked covet the catch of evil men, but the root of the righteous yields fruit."
The wicked look on with covetousness and greed, desiring what is not theirs and grasping at increase. Scripture states it is the "catch" of evil men, and such a catch is in contrast to the "fruit" of the righteous. One conveys momentary luck—but the other tells of a sustainable blessing cultivated slowly and intentionally over time.
It can be tempting to look at the catch of evil men and long for the same. To look on at those who violate the principles of God time and time again and yet seem to be "blessed" regardless. While we can be assured that there will be a time a judgment for the wicked, we do well to examine our own heart, for our own heart will be the only heart we give an account for before the Lord. Having hearts yielded in love and transformed by His heart is our highest aim.
We can resist the temptation to desire the temporary fortune of the wicked and instead plant seeds of righteousness that lead to good fruit. Of course, this fruit includes that "spiritual fruit" the apostle Paul taught us about in Galatians (see Gal. 5:22-23). Solomon, however, is focusing on financial recompense.
When our "root system" is planted deeply into the plans, purposes and predestined desires of God, then we can rest assured that slowly, and over time, blessings and prosperity can and will follow.
Many believers settle for less than what God has called them to out of the desire to eschew coveting the catch of evil men. This is good, but let us not stop there. The root of the righteous is promised a life of fruitfulness. Each of us must cultivate our own life with a firm expectation of reward.
God has said it.
God will do it.
Jeff Struss is the director of content development at Charisma Media.
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