Proverbs 12
Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
Wasted Gains

Proverbs 12:27

I. By toil, by tears, by sharing in the toil and tears of others, our life is rich in gains. Trophies have fallen to our bow, and to the bow of the nation with which we are one, and to the bow of the Gospel we believe; and we have never roasted what we took in hunting. The gains are wasted; the trophies are unused.

1. I want to run that thought out into various spheres of life; and first, the wasted gains in bodily life. Take speech or sight. Compare the possibilities of sight with what you see. Contrast the possibilities of speech with what you say; and are not speech and sight terribly wasted gains?

2. There are wasted gains in our social life. Take friendship, for example. Think for a moment of the toil it cost to make a single friend. The tragedy is the passing of love's kindness; the sloth that lets us squander what we won; the waste of the sweet gains of golden days.

3. There are wasted gains in our public and our national life. Our privileges were bought for us at a great price. And oh, the pity of it, how we waste them!

There is our restful Sunday, and it was dearly bought. But every country road and country inn on Sunday is thronged with men who never think of God. There is the open Bible, and it was dearly bought, yet now it is every book before the Bible. There is our liberty of worship, and it was dearly bought, yet, come a rainy Sunday, and half the churches in the city are unfilled.

And there is our right of voting too, of moulding public life and sharing in it, and that was dearly bought. And hundreds of men and women are so careless that they will sit at home, or visit, or go to work, and never trouble to record their vote.

II. In our moral and spiritual life there is the same tale of wasted gains. Had we but used all we have learned; had we but held by all that suffering taught us; had we but clung to what we wrestled for, we should be nearer heaven. But we have squandered it like any prodigal, and flung it to the winds, and almost all the lessons are to learn again!

III. Squander your gains, and God will take them from you. Neglect your talents, and God will take your talents back. Misuse your sight, and God will rob you of the power to see. Despise your teachings, and God will not teach you any more.

—G. H. Morrison, Sun-Rise, p. 169.

References.—XII. 27.—Archbishop Benson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xl. 1891, p. 104. XIII. 7.—A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy ScriptureEsther, Job, Proverbs, etc., p. 163. XIII. 12.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth, p. 243. XIII. 13.—Ibid. p. 245. XIII. 15.—Hugh Black, University Sermons, p. 88. W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth, p. 247. XIII. 20.—T. Barker, Plain Sermons, p. 178. J. Percival, Some Helps for School Life, p. 155. W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth, p. 155. XIII. 23.—A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy ScriptureEsther, Job, Proverbs, etc., p. 173; see also Paul's Prayers, p. 287. XIII. 24.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth, p. 252. XIII. 32.—F. E. Paget, Plain Preaching to Poor People (7th Series), p. 61. XIV. 6.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth, p. 258. XIV. 7, 16.—Ibid. p. 262. XIV. 8.—G. Tyrrell, Oil and Wine, p. 305.

A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.
A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellers of peace is joy.
There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
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