PROVERB PRACTICALS   And Babies Don't Keep, Proverbs 10:5, Audio

 

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

My wife and I have been in this ministry for over 40 years.

I remember well in the early years hearing from Dr. Hobbs, our founding pastor, what were called sayings from a man named Dr. Bob Jones.

Being new Christians we had never heard of Bob Jones but we quickly found out that he was a highly respected and revered man who in many ways had been a mentor to our Pastor.

Dr. Bob Jonesí sayings were often quoted from the pulpit and they meant much to me as they were pithy sayings that boiled down Bible truths into easily remembered adages or maxims.

Some of those sayings that can easily remembered and are very convicting are:

bulletIt is a sin to do less than your best.
bulletIt is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.
bulletYou can do anything you ought to do.
bulletFinish the job.
bulletDo right though the stars fall.
bulletThe door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition.
bulletThe two biggest little words in the English language are the two little words "do right."
bulletWhat you love and what you hate reveal what you are.
bulletIt is better to die for something than to live for nothing.
bulletGod will not do for you what He has given you strength to do for yourself.

And lastly: Don't sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.

That last saying certainly applies well to what we will be talking about when we study our proverb for today which is, Proverbs 10:5,  He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

Now both the saying "Don't sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate" and Proverbs 10:5, are cautioning us to be careful of the use of our time.

One thing I have learned in my Christian walk is that timing is everything.

God authored time. God lives in eternity but while we are on this earth we live in time.

Now I know that a Christian has eternal life the second he or she is born again but until we go to be with the Lord we continue to live in time.

While we live in time we are cautioned to have priorities as to the use of that time.

In determining those priorities we are to consider what is permanent and what is immediate.

As Christians we are to give priority to the permanent over the immediate.

We are to have allegiance to that which lasts, over that which is fleeting.

I once attended a seminar while in government service which concerned time management.

The instructor divided life into 4 quadrants.

The first quadrant involved crises, pressing problems, deadline driven projects.

The second quadrant involved prevention activities, relationship building, recognizing new opportunities, planning, recreation.

The third quadrant involved interruptions, telephone calls, some mail, some reports, some meetings, proximate pressing matters.

The fourth quadrant involved trivia, busy work, some mail, some calls, and time wasters.

The instructor called quadrants 1 and 2 important quadrants, and 3 and 4 not important quadrants.

And of quadrants 1 and 2 quadrant 2 was the most important.

Remember quadrant 2 involved prevention activities, relationship building, recognizing new opportunities, planning, recreation.

But he said this was the quadrant most neglected, the quadrant involving those things of relative permanence.

The activities of this quadrant were generally being pushed aside in favor of those things that were more immediate.

But our proverb and Dr. Bob Jonesí saying urge us to not let this happen.

Donít sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate!

Satan, as is his usual course, majors on the immediate, quadrants 3 and 4, but God always majors on the permanent.

Think hard about your life.

How much of it is involved in the immediate and how much of it is involved in the permanent?

Think hard about decision making and you will conclude that there is always competition between the immediate and the permanent.

A child has a dollar.

That dollar burns a hole in his or her pocket demanding to be spent.

Dad reminds the child of the desire to save money for a new bicycle.

So competition begins between an ice cream cone or savings toward a new bike.

This is the norm in decision making for there is always an immediate and there is always a permanent.

Parents are faced with this competition every day when it comes to child rearing.

There seems to be in our day a favoring of the immediate over the permanent.

The child naturally demands and the parent can yield to the demands to keep the child at bay or think of the childís welfare which is a thought toward the permanent.

Give in to the child, satisfy the immediate but in so doing the permanent is sacrificed.

The immediate is prompted by sight, the permanent is prompted by faith.

The immediate is prompted by what the child sees, the permanent is prompted by what the parent sees.

God tells us to wait. Satan tells us why wait when you can have it now?

I remember one of Satanís advertisements on television in this vein that said:

You only go around once in life so youíve got to grab for all the gusto you can.

Satanís message is the preeminence of the immediate.

Satisfy your longings now. You donít have to wait.

But Abraham waited and because he waited on God he is known as the father of faith.

His nephew Lot could not wait for he looked for a well watered plain.

He looked with eyes of flesh but Abraham looked for a city whose builder and maker is God.

Abraham looked with eyes of faith for he sought the permanent, the city of God where God dwelt.

Abraham was a wise son for his priority was the permanent while Lot was a foolish son for all he cared for was immediate satisfaction.

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

What is the priority here? To harvest or to sleep.

Now both harvesting and sleeping are good things.

We all have to eat to continue living and harvesting is necessary to eating but sleep is also necessary to continue living.

Doesnít sleep consume one third of our life?

The issue of course is the timing.

There is a time for sleep and there is a time for harvesting but according to this proverb when it is harvest time it is not the time for sleep.

Harvest can be considered the permanent and sleep can be considered the immediate.

Donít sacrifice the harvest in order to sleep.

The blacksmith places the horse shoe iron in the furnace.

When he withdraws it from the fire to his anvil, donít go to him and try to engage him in a conversation.

His marching orders are "Strike while the iron is hot."

Donít sacrifice the heating of the iron in order to engage in some trivial conversational banter.

Harvest time is not the time for sleep.

Harvest time is the time for hard work.

Harvest time is not the time for the pursuit of pleasure or other pastimes.

You do not have every day in the year to choose when to do the harvest for there is only a short period when the harvest will be successful.

Winter's march is heard in the distance and the reasonable man prepares for the inevitable for the wise man knows that the winter is coming.

Those that prepare for that which is assured, that which is inevitable, are wise; those that neglect preparation, and slumber and sleep their way through the harvest, cause shame.

We have talked some today about the rearing of children.

Proverbs 22:6, tells us to,  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Now all things being equal a child will not stay a child.

There is to be a transition from child to one who is old.

Children are not to stay children but they are to become adults.

A child ought to be growing toward that end.

It will not just happen when they turn 18.

There ought to be ever increasing responsibilities in the family so that when the time comes there is little problem becoming independent.

Believe it or not there is some point at which they are to be launched.

There is an immediate aspect here and there is a permanent aspect here.

There is harvest aspect here and there is a sleeping aspect here.

The question is what will the harvest be when he is old.

We are told the harvest will be according to what is put into the child that brings him to adulthood.

Train up a child in the way he should go recognizes the inevitability of that journey toward the harvest.

Parents have a short time in which to train up a child.

Think back in your own family as to how fast things have gone relative to your children.

Look at the teenagers of our church who it seems were tots just a few years ago.

Parents have little time to train up a child.

They can mess around with immediate measures in quadrants 3 and 4 with no thought of the permanent measures of quadrant 2.

Child rearing is not the time for sleep.

The iron of the child is hot for only a little while and if the iron is to be shaped toward the way it should go it must be struck while it is hot.

Train up a child requires the wise to be awake to the need for plowing, cultivation, weeding and pruning.

For successful child rearing, there must be a conscious decision to give preeminence to the permanent over the immediate.

God expects his children to think and act with a long term view that the harvest be bountiful and rich.

Here is a poem written by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton who understood the importance of the permanent over the immediate with regard to children. It reads:

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
The shoppingís not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard thereís a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing "Kanga" and this is my "Roo."
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Now certainly the cloth must be shook, the dustpan emptied, the wash must be done and the button sewn on.

The house has its due, the dishes their cupboard, the bills must be paid, along with cleaning and scrubbing.

Certainly there must be attention given to the immediate.

That is what most of life is about but it ought not to be to the extent of neglecting the permanent.

Our Lord so clearly taught us this in his instruction to Martha who was so encumbered about with the immediate.

Martha was fixing the meal and that certainly was the important event of the evening wasnít it, or so Martha thought?

Wasnít that why everyone was at the house?

She came to Jesus and complained about her sisterís lack of help:

Luke 10:40-42,  Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Mary was interested in the permanent.

Marthaís immediate actions would soon be gone but Maryís cultivation of her relationship with her Lord was one of permanence.

She had chosen that good part.

She had decided to not sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.

She had decided to keep the altar of the permanent constantly burning in her life.

Guard your quadrant 2 time.

Guard your devotion to the Lord time.

Fight for that precious time of permanence for that which is immediate has wings to fly away never to be seen again.

 

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

This proverb tells us that there is a proper time for the harvest. The harvest is time sensitive. It must be done at the proper time.

Harvest time is not the time for sleep. Harvest time is the time for hard work. Harvest time is not the time for the pursuit of pleasure or other pastimes.

There is a window of opportunity when the harvest must be accomplished. You do not have every day in the year to choose when to do the harvest.

There is only a short period when the harvest will be successful. Winter's march is heard in the distance and the reasonable man prepares for the inevitable.

The wise man knows that the winter is coming. God has so ordained that the winter is coming and no man will harvest during the winter.

Those that prepare for that which is assured, that which is inevitable, are wise; those that neglect preparation, and slumber and sleep their way through the harvest, cause shame.

Jesus said the fields are white already to harvest. The fields that Jesus talks about in our lesson in John today have been white already to harvest for almost 2000 years.

This harvest season is a long harvest season because God is long suffering and wishes that all should come to repentance and be harvested in God's great gathering.

We are near the time of the end of the window of opportunity of the harvest and the crops are on the wain, they are just about done for and little time remains.

Jesus said in John 9:4,  the night cometh when no man can work.

So we see, as in the pattern that God teaches us in nature, so too we find in scripture that the winter is coming when no man will harvest.

The winds of wrath will howl and the cold of darkness will come on the earth and the harvest time will be over.

So we must work while it is day and take our part in the harvest so we will not be a son or daughter that causes shame.