Proverbs 12:12 ESV
Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
The wicked man does not produce; he steals. His love is the spoil, and spoil cannot be made, only stolen. Wickedness is, after all, antithetical to God, and therefore antithetical to the Dominion Mandate which He gave to man: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:26-28). To be fruitful is too hard, too slow, too humble for the wicked man. Therefore, his love is the spoil of evildoing and of the evildoer.
Perhaps he is a revolutionary, working for the ‘good of the people’, but working on a metric God never spoke. Perhaps he is merely greedy, and cares for naught but his bottom line. Perhaps he wishes to leave his children rich, that they might not be poor as he was, and in that pursuit he is willing to abandon mercy. In the end, all these men have turned aside from loving God and Him alone, have made an ideology or a pocketbook or a legacy their God, and so they have become wicked.
Will these men bear fruit?
No man is utterly without good within him, not within the bounds of this world, not before his death and final judgement. Therefore, these men will bear some fruit. Nevertheless, as they turn farther from God, they will bear less and less fruit. They will turn more and more to despoiling others. Whether out of covetousness, envy, zealotry, or another motive, these wicked men will spurn the law of God.
The righteous, on the other hand, does not merely appropriate and steal that which is made by others. He goes forth and ‘produces fruit’. In the legacy of the dominion mandate, they are fruitful (Genesis 1:26-28). This proverb, though, does not merely say that the righteous produces fruit; it states that “the root of the righteous bears fruit.”
The root of the righteous has multiple important facets and expressions. Ultimately, the root of the righteous is God and His Word. From this root grows all the fruit of God’s people. The root of the righteous, however, can also be understood as the root which is made up of the righteous. The righteous, in this paradigm, grow up and are the roots for good fruit. This interpretation of the roots as the righteous, of course, harmonizes wonderfully with the interpretation of the roots as the roots of the righteous, because the fruit which the righteous roots produce come ultimately from the origin of that righteousness.
The good work of God in His people produces fruit through them. We whom He has called, therefore, should work with fear and trembling for the purification and sanctification of the world, knowing that He has promised us fruit, whatever the world might say or see.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.