but to the counsellors of peace is joy.” Proverbs 12:20
Only in God’s Kingdom this is possible. In this life we learn the rational meaning of things, what is logical makes sense, what is not, we let go. But in the kingdom of God, things are seen in a different perspective since they can’t be understood by human mind, they need to be revealed by the Spirit of God – John 3:5.
While the dictionary says that the antonym of deceit is honesty, God is saying it is joy. While It defines the antonyms of peace as noise, distress or war, God defines it as evil, and counselling to imagining when we learn it should be misleading, misguiding or concealing.
What God is trying to show us here, takes place in the heart, the prize of the war going on in our flesh. If we are inclined to deceit, we’ll be deceived and we’ll not have the joy of the Lord (Nehemiah 8:10). If we give ourselves to evil, we will have no peace in God, we may have a peace given by the world, but not the one Jesus promised us in John 14:27. If we imagine evil, we will end up not only doing evil but also leading others into doing it as well (2 Timothy 2:16). Now, Imagining is related to our will and desires while counsel has more to do with acting on something. Who seeks counsel is looking for an advice on what to do in a specific situation and our imagination comes out of our needs, beliefs and desires. Our flesh can lust after evil and we start imagining a way of getting it long before we realize it is evil.
But this verse is all about redemption! If you seek the Joy of the Lord – I’ll put it in a better way – If you seek to bring Joy to God, if you make Him happy :-) He will strengthen you and keep deceit away from your heart. If the only peace acceptable to you is that one promised by Jesus, evil will have no place in your life and if you want to obey God and to do His will, He will establish your thoughts and will give you the right heart desires (Phillipians 2:13).
Yes, deceit is opposed to joy, evil to peace and imagining to counselling, but through the redemption of Jesus, joy overcomes deceit, His peace overcomes evil and the meditations of our hearts become acceptable in His sight (Psalm 19:14).
May the peace of the Lord be with you!