Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Hope and DisappointmentW. Clarkson Proverbs 13:12
Hope DeferredW. Arnot, D. D.Proverbs 13:12
The Sickness of Disappointment and the Joy of FruitionE. Johnson Proverbs 13:12
The Wisdom of Docility, Etc.: a Sermon to the YoungW. Clarkson Proverbs 13:1, 13, 18

I. HOPE DELAYED. Who has not known that sickness of the heart, that slow-consuming misery of which the text speaks? It is a sorrow of every age. Life itself is by some spent in this still lingering delay. The stern experience of the course of the world teaches us that the sentimental and romantic view of the future, so natural to youth, must give way to realities.

II. HOPE DELAYED IS THE TRAIL OF FAITH. The duration of the trial rather than the intensity is painful. So with Abraham in reference to Isaac (Genesis 15:2, 3).

III. THERE IS A LOVING PROVIDENTIAL MEANING AT THE HEART OF THESE TRIALS, They are essentially time trials; they have an end - the "end of the Lord." So the boy named "Laughter" came to Abraham; so the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, and the delivered Were like unto them that dream! So Simeon could sing his Nunc dimittis on the appearance of the long expected Saviour; and on his resurrection the disciples "believed not for joy, and wondered."

IV. A CERTAIN FRUITION IS PROMISED TO THE DESIRE OF THE RIGHTEOUS. "Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry" (comp. Romans 8:23; 2 Corinthians 5:2-4). - J.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, whether the person hoping, or the thing hoped for, be good or evil. The second member of the text is a dividing word. "Tree of life" belongs only to the hope of the holy. Many, after waiting long, and expecting eagerly, discover, when at last they reach their object, that it is a withered branch and not a living tree. There is no peace to the wicked. They are always either desiring or possessing; but to desire and to possess a perishable portion are only two different kinds of misery to men. If the desire is pure, the attainment of it is a tree of life; it is living, satisfying, enduring. It has a living root in the ground and satisfying fruit upon the branches. Where a hungering for righteousness secretly rises in a human heart the blessing is already sure, but it is not enjoyed yet. The hungerer "shall be filled," but in the meantime his only experience is an uneasy sensation of want. In God's good time that desire will be satisfied. That longing soul will taste and see that the Lord is gracious.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

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