Lessons from the ProverbsBro. David Chancellor
3/20/2011 6:00 PM
The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath. There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it. He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him. He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.
If we focus on the right things, our lives can go in a good way. “The desire of the righteous is only good…” We want good things in our lives, but we also want to do good things by our lives. “…is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (1 Cor. 13:5b) The righteous person is glad when others are blessed.
“…but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.” The wicked rightfully expects wrath. When God shows us a right way, we need to choose it. If people choose to go God’s way, they don’t have to expect wrath.
“There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth…” Hoarding and selfishness don’t make for a blessed life. Rich people are those who help and bless others. Have something to give to other people. That is where you will be blessed. You can give as God would have you to and still prosper. God will give the increase. Be a generous person and the increase will come. God will bless you and help you grow. God will help you to have a good life.
“…and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” God expects you to take care of your family and meet your obligations. There is a proper care and withholding of life’s goods to take care of your needs. Miserly behavior leads to poverty. “Make all you can, save all you can and give all you can.” – John Wesley. Manage it well. There are times and amounts of withhold that is proper, but don’t be a miser. You’ll lose the blessing and joy of helping others.
“The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Focus on the soul. Try to be healthy, but keep it within reason. Don’t get focused on the wrong thing. Are we trying to draw attention to self, or are we focused on our soul? Have a fat soul. Back then being fat was a sign of prosperity, because it meant you had food to eat. Spiritual prosperity and generosity are tied together. Have a desire to benefit others. When we do this our soul receives benefit, too.
When we share the gospel with others, we’ll get an increase. Spiritual growth happens when you share it with others. When you work to teach others, you learn yourself. God put a well of water springing up in you so that it will flow out to others. It blesses us here when we carry it elsewhere. If you’re starting to get dry, pour out some water.
“He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.” Share what you’ve got. Don’t be a hoarder. Have something to offer in the hard times. You can share a bit and still prosper. Hard times may be coming for us. Some people encourage storing up for the hard times. The survivalist mindset tends to be a hoarding mindset. Save for hard times, but be willing to share. Look forward to being a real blessing. Prepare to help other people. Be a blessing now, too. Those who think ahead are a blessing to those who don’t. The work of others blesses us, too. We should work to help others. Get the truth and don’t be afraid to share it with others.
“He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour…” Most people like to meet good people. If you seek after good, it will bring favor in your life. We want the church to have favor in the community, so each of us should be seeking good. “…but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.” If you go looking for trouble, you will find it. What are you doing that is good? You will reap what you sow. Diligently seek good and you’ll find benefit and blessing.
“He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.” Riches don’t make us good or a blessing. Jesus encouraged the young ruler to get rid of his and follow him. Trusting riches works to prevent a soul from trusting in God. Having riches isn’t the trouble. What do you trust in? Where is your faith? What defines your life? Riches can be a tool to bless others when you keep your trust in God. God can give us things. Our focus needs to be on righteousness. Count on God to be your sufficiency. Riches won’t see you through. They aren’t a sure thing. God is our only sure trust. Stay in the vine and draw what you need.
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” The fruit of your flourishing is to bring life to others. Our lives should be used to draw others to God. Caring about bringing souls to God is the wise choice. It is a wise occupation that brings good reward. If you choose to work for God, you’ve made a wise choice. Focus on doing God’s work. Our lives have a focus of working for God. It is a wise choice. Touch other people’s lives. Use your life for God. Sharing God with others is the wise choice. Live to lift up Christ. Stay focused on the wise choice: pointing others to Christ. God would have us all in the business of evangelism.
“Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” There’s benefit to serving God here. All the preceding proverbs show this to be true. Don’t miss out on the blessing and benefit you can have now. The consequences of our actions, good or bad, come both in this life and the next. Choose wisely. Live for God.