Archive for May 9th, 2019

Proverbs 28:19-23

Solomon tackles the topic of work and the outcome that comes with it in Proverbs 28:19-23.  The reward of work is a harvest. The one who tills his land will enjoy the harvest that comes, and therefore have plenty of bread. Without the hard work, there won’t be any production and thus no harvest. “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.” When are aren’t willing to do the work to produce an outcome, there is no harvest. The one who ignores his work to have a good time (following worthless pursuits) will not enjoy the fruit of the harvest the way the hard-working man will. Instead of plenty of bread the lazy, frivolous man will have plenty of poverty. The Prodigal Son is a great example of this.

A somewhat similar proverb has Solomon reminding us that blessing comes to those who are faithful in their walk with God. This is true as a general principle; faithfulness and obedience to God’s law brings blessings. It was especially true under the old covenant, where God promised blessings on the obedient and curses on the disobedient. “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” God is not generous with those who simply chase money. The one who hastens to be rich is almost always willing to cheat or compromise to gain wealth. God promises that this one will be punished, either in this life or the next.

Solomon also reminds us that we are to treat all fairly and with honor. In the court of law and in our daily dealings with people, we should not show partiality. We should be those who do not favor or condemn others based on their race, class, nationality, or influence. “To show partiality is not good, but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.” There are plenty who will attempt to cause us to be partial or do wrong. Because justice and the opinion of others can be easily bought, we should determine that we will not be bribed for partiality and we should be aware that others may be easily bought.

He next addresses giving and how important it is to hold on to our money loosely when it comes to giving. The stingy, ungenerous man will run after riches with the same energy that he will use to selfishly hold on to what he has. “A stingy man hastens after wealth and does not know that poverty will come upon him.” Because God’s blessing does not rest on the stingy, ungenerous man, poverty will come upon him—and he will not consider or expect it. Along with how we handle what God has entrusted is how we address each other when there is wrongdoing. It may be necessary to rebuke a man, but it will likely bring on displeasure. Still, it should be done in confidence that when done well, the one who rebukes will find more favor afterward. “Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue.”  When we rebuke another, they will respect us more than if we just flatter and allow them to self-destruct on their own.

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