Satisfied with Good
This proverb speaks of two kinds of FRUIT: the fruit of one’s mouth and the fruit of one’s hands (speech and works—and their results).
A. The Fruit of a Man’s Mouth
1. Solomon is assuming here that the man uses his mouth for GOOD.
a. That is not always the case… sometimes the use of our mouth is not consistent (James 3:9-12).
b. It is possible to use our mouth as a weapon to hurt… to tear down… and attack.
• Prov. 11:11 – a city is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked—so are marriages ruined; churches torn apart; friendships destroyed.
• Prov. 12:18 – There is that speaketh like the piercing of a sword.
• We can use our tongue like a sword to tear a man apart—to run the Sunday school teacher over the coals… pick apart his lesson… talk him down in front of the kids… and then go back to the evening service and sing, “I Love Thee Lord Jesus With all of My Heart.”
c. But Solomon is talking about GOOD fruit in 12:14…
• He is talking about good fruit that results from the use of one’s mouth.
• We always hear warnings about the use of our tongue. No man can tame it! It is a world of iniquity! Sets on the fire of hell! Like a piercing sword!
• But Solomon also wants us to know that the mouth (and speech) was created by God for good!
• We can use our mouths in good ways—and we SHOULD be using our mouths for good.
2. Good fruit from the mouth
a. Ps. 37:30 – The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
• A righteous man can use his mouth to give good counsel to a brother… share wisdom learned from experience…
• He can share “judgment”—discernment…
b. Ps. 50:23 – Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me.
• We can use our mouths to praise God—for worship…
• This brings glory to God—especially when we praise the Lord even if there is no fruit on the vine…
• When we praise God before other believers, it encourages them to do the same… and look to the Lord… and think of Him.
c. Ps. 119:46 – I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.
• We can use our mouths to speak about God and spiritual things before the world…
• We may not speak before kings—but we can speak about the Lord before people in high positions elsewhere—to your teachers at school… your boss…
• We can speak of God’s testimony before those who are not in high positions too—
d. Prov. 10:21 – The lips of the righteous feed many.
• Feed = pasture; pasturage; pasturing; bring to pasture—the work of a shepherd.
• It is a shepherding term, similar to the Greek word for “shepherding” which is sometimes also translated “Feed.”
• It is primarily used of feeding domestic animals
• The root is used of Jacob “feeding” Laban’s flocks. (Gen. 30:36)
• The most common occupation in Bible times was shepherding, so this concept would be quite familiar to Solomon and his readers.
• Shepherds fed their sheep… they led them to still waters… green pastures.
• The term for feed is broader than just feed… to take to pasture…
• The term involves that which a shepherd does for his sheep—especially feeding, but other duties are involved as well… caring, leading, guiding,
• Solomon states that ALL righteous men should use their lips to feed others. In fact, God uses all believers to “feed” His sheep… not just the pastor and elders.
• That’s what our lips are for according to Prov. 10:21!
• Do you use your lips to feed others?
3. Our speech should be kind and gracious… edifying to the soul.
a. Prov. 15:26 – but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
b. Prov. 16:24 – Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
c. Ecc. 10:12 – The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious.
d. Col. 4:16 – Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt.
e. Eph. 4:29 – speak only that which will build up brother… not that which will tear him down.
f. It takes work… effort… concentration… the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to transform our speech into gracious speech.
B. Satisfied With Good
1. Satisfied: satisfy; filled; filled to excess; fulfilled… satiated… full… content.
a. Used in Ps. 107:9 – satisfaction is accomplished in the soul—produced by God.
b. When the Lord redeems Israel at His coming: And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD. (Jer. 31:14)
2. A man shall gain great satisfaction from a good use of his speech.
a. The father who faithfully reads the Scripture to his family can be satisfied—knowing that God will use His Word… it never comes back void!
b. The man or woman who sacrifices time each week to prepare a Sunday school lesson and uses his or her tongue to teach young people God’s Word can experience a sense of great satisfaction…
• What satisfaction knowing that you had a part in a young person’s life—his spiritual growth… perhaps even salvation!
• This isn’t a smug, patting of self on the back Solomon is describing. Rather it is a spirit of great blessing and contentment that comes from being used of the Lord to help build up the spiritual life of another believer.
c. There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from telling others about Christ—whether they respond in faith or not—we can rest in God’s contentment, knowing that He used us for His glory… for the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel!
d. Prov. 25:11 – Well timed words are beautiful and valuable — like golden fruit in a silver basket… beautiful… attractive… appreciated… appealing to the soul…
e. II Cor. 1: 3-4 – What a sense of satisfaction is ours when God uses us to comfort the afflicted—even one or two words, fitly spoken can be used greatly!
• Do you know someone who needs comforting? Use your mouth for good!
• Solomon says that not only will the other person benefit—but so will you!
• What a sense of accomplishment when we are used of the Lord to lift someone up… comfort a downcast heart…
• It is better to GIVE than to receive.
f. This sense of satisfaction even comes rebuking a brother—especially if he receives it well… and you can know that your warning was used of the Lord to keep a brother from making a foolish mistake…
1. This thought is nearly identical to vs.11 –
a. The man who works hard and tills his land will be satisfied with the fruit of his labors.
b. Here, the man who works hard with his hands will be recompensed—paid back… he will be rewarded with the RESULTS of his labor.
c. Whether it is a farmer tilling the land, or a factory worker building cars, a carpenter building a house, or a baker baking pastries, or a computer programmer programming computers… there is a sense of satisfaction that comes from the work of one’s hands. (Assuming he is a hard worker doing a good job).
2. Solomon compares two kinds of fruit—the fruit from our mouth and our hands.
a. The words of a man’s mouth are seen here on par with the works of his hands.
b. They can bring equal satisfaction.
• One man may not be a great exhorter or teacher… but he can use his hands to help others… he can paint a fence… help a brother chop down trees… or use his hands to help..
• Whether we are adept at using our speech to help a brother—or using our hands, both can be helpful—and both bring satisfaction to the one who helps.
• It doesn’t matter what your gift is—when your gift is used for the good of others and the glory of God—it brings a sense of satisfaction.
c. Everybody knows the satisfaction that comes from doing a good job on a project. (The boss compliments your work; you feel good that it came out well; it brings a sense of pride—or perhaps better—satisfaction.)
d. Perhaps we hadn’t thought of the satisfaction that can come from the use of our mouth in this way.
3. Rom. 6:13 – Regardless of our spiritual gift and natural abilities (speech or hands) — EVERY member of our body is to be yielded to God… presented as an offering to Him for His service.
a. When we do this, we might be surprised HOW God can use your consecrated tongue… and hands.
b. You may have thought that you had no talent with your hands as a craftsman—but when yielded to God, the Lord can use them in a great way!
c. You may have thought that you have no talent with your tongue—to teach, exhort, comfort, sing, testify, witness, etc…
d. Try YIELDING your tongue to the Lord. You may be surprised to see how God uses you!
e. God could feed 5000 with a little boy’s lunch. He can use our meager talents for His glory too!
4. Prov. 12:14 states that God REWARDS men who yield their members to Him.
a. Whether it be your mouth or your hands…
b. The reward is an inner sense of satisfaction that comes from a life yielded TO God and used BY God for His glory.
c. To the degree that our members are yielded to God and used of the Lord — we will experience satisfaction… a contentment that only God can give.
d. We get a sense of satisfaction in this life—and rewards in glory! It pays to be yielded to God.
e. Godliness—with the contentment it breeds—is great gain!