PROVERB PRACTICALS   God Will Provide, Proverbs 10:3-4, Audio

 

Proverbs 10:3-4, The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked. He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

My wife and I eat breakfast together in front of a large window where we are able to observe Godís creatures, creatures who are also having breakfast and getting ready for the day.

Lately we are seeing many robins and so far, I have not seen one skinny robin.

I think they have the name Robin Red Breast because that part of their body is so prominent.

They are certainly not malnourished and when I see them I am reminded of what Jesus said to his disciples when he was instructing them to:

Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.

And then he gave them an example of how he provides for creatures like the robin:

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.

Now when Jesus Christ said this he did not ask you to casually look at the birds but he said to behold the birds.

That means you and I are to observe the birds fixedly, to study the birds, to ponder the actions of the birds, to emulate the birds.

There are many admonitions in scripture to study Godís creation that we may receive life lessons.

It is the duty of parents to take opportunities with their children to behold the fowls of the air in order that they receive instruction from the Lord.

He told us the birds do not sow, they do not reap, nor do they gather into barns.

In studying this we are to come to a conclusion that they do not lay up treasure upon this earth for future use but they simply depend upon a daily provision of food from their maker.

If you could understand their song you would hear:, Give us this day our daily bread!

There is no concern for whether or not there will be food, for that is a given.

They eat what God provides and do not amass food for a future day.

Now some of Godís creatures do not follow this pattern and there are reasons for this.

For example the squirrel saves acorns for a future day.

The squirrel does not have wings and must stay put while the bird is equipped to follow the food from place to place going from north to south and returning as dictated by the seasons.

God has put into his creatures what they must do to survive but the bottom line is that God will provide.

Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 that following conversion we should become as little children.

Now one thing that little children do is to simply count on their mother for their next meal.

I have never seen a little child worry about their next meal as to where it was coming from.

They take no thought about it!

They have one source and one source only.

They know it is to come from Mom and it is to come daily.

Little children do not amass food for the winter.

Now that is the kind of child God is looking for.

A child that depends upon Him to provide and who knows that He will indeed provide.

He expects us to have our priorities straight about His matters and does not want us to have a life wrapped up in thinking all about survival to the neglect of seeking first the kingdom of God.

He therefore says take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, what ye shall drink, nor what ye shall wear.

Now this simply means that your life is more than meat and the body is more than raiment.

The nations of the world are wrapped up in the pursuit of meat and raiment but Jesus is telling us that true life is lived at a much higher plane than the pursuit of these things.

We sing the song that begs the Lord to plant our feet on higher ground but a major step on that higher ground is the step of completely trusting in Godís provision.

What would you think of a soldier on the battle field who worried over these things?

Instead of engaging in the battle he is worrying about his need for clothes or his need for food.

No, the army commands him to think about the battle and assures him that the army knows best about what he needs and will provide it for him.

Now it will not be an Armani suit for an Armani suit is not suitable for the battle.

The soldier may dream of a sirloin steak but only meals ready to eat, MRE rations are suitable during the battle.

Its all a matter of priority in life.

Men and women of the world are engaged in hunting and gathering.

Our father does not want us to spend our lives in such, but instead we are to spend our life seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

He says that if we get our priority lists in line with His priority lists then all these things (food, clothes, shelter) shall be added unto us.

Now this is a promise of God and like all promises of God it is one which is accessed by faith.

God has so arranged things in his economy that in order to function in his economy it must be in the arena of faith.

Our proverbs for today fit into that arena for they must be accepted by faith.

They are promises of God.

Proverbs 10:3-4,  The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked. He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

Now this does not promise that you will not miss a meal.

It is a promise that you will not famish which means you will not suffer extreme hunger or thirst coming near to perishing.

David related to us the experience of a lifetime when in Psalm 37:25, he said: I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

David is the one who wrote the 23rd Psalm which tells us: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

He wrote of the green pastures, the still waters, the prepared table.

He wrote of the Shepherd as the leader finding those pastures, those waters, that table.

The Shepherd never told the sheep to find their own pastures, their own waters, nor to prepare their own table.

The Shepherd takes on that responsibility and He wants the sheep to find comfort in that and to rest in that and to go about the business of growing wooly coats.

The problem with many Christians is that they do not see the Lord as their shepherd and with that kind of vision their lives are not more than meat or raiment.

They do not follow the Shepherd to the green pastures, the still waters, the prepared table but go about finding those things themselves.

And in so doing they are hindered by their own ways from seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

In this they draw near to the ways of the wicked whose substance we are told is cast away.

Now we know that many of the wicked spend their substance upon riotous living, but we also know that is not always the case for many are simply amassing substance for some assumed future.

They are not moved by motives of generosity and charity and the advancement of the kingdom of God.

But you can be assured that whatever the case the substance of the wicked has no eternal quality.

They have no ability to lay it up in heaven for only those in the body of Christ can do that.

They may grasp their substance tightly, but God tells us that He will overcome and thrust it from them.

Perhaps they will accumulate and accumulate until their dying breath but Godís faithful messenger, that messenger named death shall at last drag it from them and when they are put into the cold ground in their golden casket their substance shall be seen no more.

But what of the torture that the memory of wasted treasure will bring to their souls in hell for all eternity?

Treasures of wickedness are truly unprofitable but the hand of the diligent maketh rich!

Our 4th proverb in chapter 10 tells us so:  He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

Lest we conclude from the preceding that God will do all for us, we are reminded that we also have a part in this equation.

God will take care of His people, and in that care he has given us hands to labor in realizing his promises.

We are to reach with those hands as far as we can and expect God, by faith, to make up the difference.

By our actions we can determine our state, whether we be rich or poor.

We are given a comparison between a slack hand and a diligent hand.

A slack hand results in a poor state but the diligent hand results in a rich state.

This tells us that whoever practices idleness may expect poverty as a normal result.

Just the other day I observed a slack hand, in fact two slack hands.

I had a sprinkler system installed and I observed a young man who had been hired for the day.

He was given the task of installing the sprinkler heads and backfilling soil around the head.

He had a shovel but he also had his hands.

But those hands were slack hands for he choose to move the sprinkler into position with his feet while his hands were comfortably resting warmly in his pockets for it was cold donít you know.

This revealed him as a sluggard for we are told in: Proverbs 20:4,  The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

There is no reason why hands are to be slack because of cold.

Now his feet were not slack but his hands should have been engaged in the process.

They should have been in the dirt arranging the sprinkler head properly and helping in the backfilling and compacting of the soil.

Needless to say the positioning of the sprinkler heads was not proper nor was the backfilling as compact as it should have been, nor was he as fast as he could have been.

He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

You were not designed to be idle.

God called Adam and Eve to dress and care for the Garden of Eden.

After the fall God said: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.

In our sinful nature God has so arranged things that unless we are diligent we will suffer loss, we will become poor.

Now this does not mean that if you are poor you are not diligent.

There are many reasons for being poor but the reason we are talking about today is because of a slack hand.

God has made hands to push, to pull, to lift, to grasp, to hold, to grab.

Slack hands do none of these things for in order to be rich hands must push, they must pull, and lift and grasp and hold and grab.

Slack hands are idle hands. There is no pressure on such hands.

Slack hands seek the comfort of warm pockets to hide from the cold and the work and because of this, slack hands impoverish.

Ecclesiastics. 10:18 tells us this,  By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

Drive through the neighborhoods and it is easy to see slack hands.

Just look at the greatest financial investment that people make in their lifetime, their house, as it yields to gravity.

Instead of a hammer or a paintbrush in the hand the hand operates the remote or the ipod or the cell phone.

Or maybe the hand operates the hairbrush, the eye liner instead of the broom or the mop.

Perhaps it is because the sluggard is simply a dreamer, one who wishes for the best but wishing will not bring riches for God has so ordained fatness will come by the sweat of your brow.

Proverbs 13:4,  The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

Proverbs 27:23,  Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

Diligent Ė Steady in application to business; constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken; attentive, industrious, not idle or negligent

Proverbs 10:5,  He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.