Proverbs 12:12

Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit.

The wicked sees the ill-gotten gain of other wicked persons and concludes that their way is the way of success. The wicked respect successful wicked people. They want to be like them. In a perverted way, they think that obtaining “success” by evil deeds is clever, even honorable, as they desire above all to have the same success. Indeed, best of all would be to take away from the very persons they admire.

Beyond the obvious evil motives of such persons is the exposure that they are worthless fools. The wicked cannot bear fruit, i.e. good fruit. They are a drain, a ravaging parasite that sucks out what is good and fills in its place what is toxic. The “spoil” of evildoers is an apt description of their possessions which may seem desirable, but in reality have been spoiled by evil ways.

But the root of the righteous, which dives deep in the nutrient-rich ground of righteousness and wisdom bears wholesome fruit. There is the fruit of good deeds, of good dispositions, of knowledge and love, of mercy and justice; there is the fruit of healthy relationships, and more often than not, the fruit of financial gain and security, the fruit of stability, of economic and social progress.

And this fruit bears the seeds that allow for the growth of more fruit. It is self-sustaining. Not so the spoil of the evildoers that cannot reproduce and will be wasted by the evildoers themselves. Do not covet the spoil of evildoers, for there is nothing of value to covet. Desire to plant yourself in righteous and wise soil. You will then bear your own good, lasting fruit.

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