Proverbs (Part 154) - Pro 11:17-18


17. Pro 11:17 – "The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh." A. The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: i. Definitions a. Merciful adj. – Of persons, their actions, attributes, etc.: Having or exercising mercy; characterized by mercy. b. Mercy n. – 1. a. Forbearance and compassion shown by one person to another who is in his power and who has no claim to receive kindness; kind and compassionate treatment in a case where severity is merited or expected. c. Good n. – II. The neuter adj. used absol., passing into sb.: That which is good. 2. a. In the widest sense: Whatever is good in itself, or beneficial in effect. 5. Phrases. a. to do good: (a) to act rightly, fulfil the moral law; (b) to show kindness to; (c) to employ oneself in philanthropic work; (d) to improve the condition of, be beneficial to. d. Soul n. – I. 1. The principle of life in man or animals; animate existence. 2. a. The principle of thought and action in man, commonly regarded as an entity distinct from the body; the spiritual part of man in contrast to the purely physical. e. In other words, the man who is characterized by mercy ― and therefore shows forbearance and kind and compassionate treatment to himself and others when severity is merited ― acts rightly in fulfillment of God's law toward, shows kindness to, and improves the condition of his own spiritual inward man. ii. A merciful man will obtain mercy from God (2Sa 22:26) and others (Mat 5:7) and therefore indirectly does good to his own soul. iii. A merciful man accrues blessings in his life. a. The man who shows mercy shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man (Pro 3:3-4). b. He that follows after righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honour (Pro 21:21). c. A merciful man therefore benefits himself and thus does good to his own soul. iv. A merciful man shows mercy towards himself. a. He does not treat sin in his life lightly. b. But he also does not condemn himself as a reprobate every time he sins and tell himself that he doesn't love God and God doesn't love him. c. He reminds himself of God's mercy, and is therefore merciful to himself. d. In this he does good to his own soul. v. A merciful man lends or gives to others in need (Psa 37:26). a. In turn, God will repay him (Pro 19:17). b. The man that has mercy on the poor is blessed (Pro 14:21). c. By being merciful by lending or giving to the poor he therefore indirectly does good to his own soul. B. but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh. i. Definitions a. Cruel adj. – 1. Of persons (also transf. and fig. of things): Disposed to inflict suffering; indifferent to or taking pleasure in another's pain or distress; destitute of kindness or compassion; merciless, pitiless, hard-hearted. b. Trouble v. – I. 1. trans. To disturb, agitate, ruffle (water, air, etc.); esp. to stir up (water) so as to make it thick or muddy; to make (wine) thick by stirring up the lees; to make turbid, dim, or cloudy. 2. trans. To disturb, derange; to interfere with, interrupt; to hinder, mar. II. 3. To put into a state of (mental) agitation or disquiet; to disturb, distress, grieve, perplex. 4. trans. To do harm or hurt to; to injure; to molest, oppress. c. Flesh n. – 10. a. The animal or physical nature of man; human nature as subject corporeal necessities and limitations. d. In other words, the man who is disposed to inflict suffering; is indifferent to or takes pleasure in another's pain or distress; is destitute of kindness or compassion; and is merciless, pitiless, and hard-hearted agitates, disquiets, disturbs, distresses, grieves, perplexes, harms, hurts, injures, molests, and oppresses his own self including his physical body. ii. Those who are cruel show no mercy (Jer 6:23). iii. Those who are cruel will be punished severely by God and therefore bring trouble upon their own flesh (Lam 4:3-6). iv. He will have judgment without mercy who shows no mercy (Jam 2:13). v. He that is cruel and unmerciful to others will be treated harshly by God and will thus trouble his own flesh (Mat 18:23-35). 18. Pro 11:18 – "The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward." A. The wicked worketh a deceitful work: i. Definitions a. Wicked adj. – 1. Bad in moral character, disposition, or conduct; inclined or addicted to wilful wrong-doing; practising or disposed to practise evil; morally depraved. (A term of wide application, but always of strong reprobation, implying a high degree of evil quality.) b. Work v. – 1. To do, perform, practice (a deed, course of action, labour, task, business, occupation, process, etc.). b. To do (something evil or harmful); to commit (a sin, wrong, or crime). c. Deceitful adj. - Full of deceit; given to deceiving or cheating; misleading, false, fallacious. (As said of things often = deceptive.) d. Deceit n. - 1. The action or practice of deceiving; concealment of the truth in order to mislead; deception, fraud, cheating, false dealing. e. Work n. – I. 1. Something that is or was done; what a person does or did; an act, deed, proceeding, business. f. In other words, men who are morally depraved and are bad in moral character, disposition, or conduct do deceptive and misleading things. ii. This first clause is set in contrast to the second clause via the contrasting conjunction but. a. The second clause shows that they who sow righteousness have a sure reward. b. In other words, their honest work will be rewarded. c. By contrast, the dishonest work of the wicked will not be rewarded. (i) The intent of the deceitful work of the wicked is to acquire wealth or some other advantage. (ii) But their deceptive actions will not yield the results they had hoped for. iii. Under the law of Moses, a man who made a gain of his neighbor deceitfully was punished by making him pay it back plus 20% interest (Lev 6:1-5). iv. Those who get wealth by dishonest means such as bribery and deceit will not prosper but will be destroyed (Job 15:34-35). v. The wicked are deceptive in their dealings with others (Hos 12:7-8) and sometimes do well for a time, but they will not prosper in the end. vi. The wicked will eventually reap what they have sown (Gal 6:7-8). a. He who plows wickedness will reap iniquity (Hos 10:13). b. He who sows iniquity will reap vanity (Pro 22:8). vii. He who digs a pit shall fall therein (Ecc 10:8). B. but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward. i. Definitions a. Sow v. – 1. intr. or absol. To perform the action of scattering or depositing seed on or in the ground so that it may grow. Also fig. and in fig. context. 6. fig. To disseminate or spread; to endeavour to propagate or extend. In various contexts. b. Righteousness n. – 1. Justice, uprightness, rectitude; conformity of life to the requirements of the divine or moral law; virtue, integrity. c. Sure adj. – 1. a. Free from or not exposed to danger or risk; not liable to be injured or destroyed; = safe a. 6, secure a. 3. II. Trustworthy, firm, steadfast. 4. a. That can be depended or relied on; not liable to fail or disappoint expectation; trustworthy, reliable. d. Reward n. – II. 4. a. A return or recompense made to, or received by, a person for some (favour,) service or merit, or for hardship endured. e. In other words, he that disseminates and spreads uprightness, virtue, and integrity as he lives, works, and deals with others can depend upon and expect a good recompense for his labor. ii. Those who sow in righteousness will reap righteousness in mercy (Hos 10:12). iii. The righteous that are not weary in well doing will reap a good reward (Gal 6:8-9). iv. Those who sow bountifully in giving to the needs of others will be rewarded bountifully by God (2Co 9:6-15; Pro 11:24-26; Pro 28:27; Pro 19:17). v. The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace, not deceit (Jam 3:18).
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