PROVERB PRACTICALS Five Hundred To One!, Proverbs 11:24, audio
Proverbs 11:24, There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
At the Chicago Board of Trade, commodities are bought and sold.
Commodities are products in their raw state, and commodity markets have their roots in the trading of agricultural products such as corn, wheat, oats, soybeans, cattle and pigs along with many other products.
This market is where prices for these raw materials are established.
In the case of corn, wheat, soybeans, and oats the unit of measure is still the bushel which is the customary unit of dry volume.
One bushel equals 4 pecks, or 8 gallons, or 35+ liters.
Depending on the moisture content, one bushel of corn is 56 pounds, one bushel of wheat or one bushel of soybeans weighs 60 pounds, and one bushel of oats is 32 pounds.
Current prices for a bushel of corn is $6.52, a bushel of wheat is $6.59, a bushel of soybeans is $13.11, and a bushel of oats is $3.26.
Now crop yields vary greatly from place to place but as an average it takes about 1/4 bushel of corn to plant one acre.
If the acre yields 125 bushels that means one bushel of seed corn will yield 500 bushels.
So there is a return of 500 to 1 in corn.
If you invest 1 bushel that you can see, touch, feel, smell and taste, just one bushel, you may get 500 bushels, but you will have to wait for you will only get them later.
It takes faith to invest one bushel of seed corn that you can see in hopes of getting many bushels of corn that at the time of investment you cannot see.
Now as far as wheat is concerned the ratio is 66 to 1, with soybeans it is about 40 to 1, and oats at 25 to 1.
So in this short study of commodities it is easy to see that God is very generous in his return on investment.
Have you ever heard of any of manís investments with such a high rate of return?
Invest one bushel of seed into the ground, enough to plant 4 acres, and He will return 500 bushels.
Try that in a bank as you invest one dollar at todayís rates and get one penny in return.
At Godís rates for corn you would get 500 dollars for every dollar you invest.
God declares in his word that his returns are the highest that you can get yet we so often choose the bankís return.
God gives His all. What greater gift does God give than his Son, Jesus Christ, who simply by believing will open to you the glories and treasures of heaven and provide a dwelling place there.
No mortgage, no rent, no maintenance, no foreclosure for that word is not known in heaven.
But in all of this God has a purpose for delay from receiving these treasures, and that is to fulfill Godís desire to scatter.
God has told us to scatter the Good News of His Son throughout the world declaring that the value of a soul is greater than the value of the whole world.
And yet most men, most women choose investments that bring little return, if any.
But investments according to Godís economy always bring the greatest return.
We invest in our missionaries who scatter the Gospel seed and every individual that sprouts life brings greater return than the whole world. Imagine That!
God says to invest your treasures in heaven where moth nor rust doth not corrupt.
Why, do that? Well according to how we see God operate in the scriptures it seems the returns are much more than we can imagine.
On Earth God gives 500 to 1 with corn, what we he give in eternity?
The returns are great, God promises, but it takes believing God in order to invest in this manner.
How easy it is to seek out investment counselors from the world but in seeking first the kingdom of God the first investment counselor should be God himself and His word is full of such counsel.
Our proverb for today is about scattering.
There is a scattering that brings increase and there is a scattering that brings decrease.
God tells us which scattering does what.
He tells us that if we scatter things his way he will take it as he takes a bushel of corn, and brings increase.
But if we choose to scatter it our way you can count on decrease.
God is the husbandman and He is the one who guarantees increase.
God gives you a finite amount of bushels with which to live.
It is up to you to determine how much of the seed of the bushel you will invest by putting it into Godís hands that he might give increase or how much of the seed of the bushel you will consume on yourself.
It takes faith to be a farmer and to scatter perfectly good seed upon the ground, perfectly good seed that can be consumed, or made into things that will satisfy your hunger.
You may ask, is it corn bread today or corn on the cob down the road.
Corn bread today takes sight but corn on the cob down the road takes faith.
Now most people of the world take their bushels and cast none or little to the ground in order for God to bring forth fruit.
Many people fit into the category of stingy, miserly, tightfisted, ungenerous, greedy, penny-pinching, or skimpy.
Christianís ought not to be thought of with those words!
Many people of the world scatter their substance by extravagance and indulgence.
There are many who inherit great sums which at the end of their lives amount to nothing.
They have scattered it on ground which could not bring forth.
They are like the prodigal son who took his inheritance from his loving father and in a far country wasted his substance with riotous living.
Now that loving father is God and he pictures himself in the scriptures as a wealthy landowner with many stewards, each of whom he has entrusted with a part of his wealth.
He conducts his operation within a certain economy, which means a way of supervision and management of the possessions of a household.
We live in two economies.
The world has one and God the husbandman, has the other.
We are comfortable living in the worldís economy for it is constructed according to the natural man.
But Godís economy is constructed according to the new man that has been born of Godís Spirit.
Godís economy is for you to carry out His purposes on Earth.
The worldís economy is for you to carry out your purposes on Earth.
Both economies are economies of scattering.
It is what is scattered that clearly divides the two.
We live in the age where Godís economy is about the scattering of the Good News of his Son.
Godís economy is about telling everyone about the endless treasures available to them in Christ
Paul knew of this economy when in Ephesians 3:8 he wrote, Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.
The world is having its trouble with its economy but the Body of Christ is also having its trouble with Godís economy.
There seems to be a mix of economies preached today that will not work.
And because Christians donít know the scriptures they do not know the difference between Godís economy and the worldís economy.
Godís economy will bless you, the worldís economy will curse you.
One will give, the other will take.
One lives for God, the other lives for self.
Godís economy is about life: scattering, sowing and reapingógiving and receiving.
The worldís economy is about greed and power, selfishness, pride and accumulation.
Godís economy is such that it brought you to a place whereby you are counted as a steward in Godís vineyard.
God could have taken you to heaven when you were born again but that is not the mission of a steward.
Godís economy is about being used of God in carrying out His purpose.
You are to be a field hand scattering seed with hopes of a great crop to come.
How do you use that seed? How do you scatter that seed?
You may say, I worked for this seed, I earned it and it is mine to do with as I please.
Why should I not use it for my benefit and my families benefit?
Another person may say, OK, I acknowledge that the tithe is the Lordís.
I will dip into my bushel and give God one tenth of my seed for him to use, for him to distribute in a way that is up to him.
I will do my duty as to the ten percent but with the rest I will do what I want to do.
But the third person says, You know I didnít make this seed.
I yield to the knowledge that everything I have belongs to God, not only the tithe but all the rest belongs to God.
I am simply a steward of His grace and I must do my best with what he has given me to oversee.
David was such a steward as this for he said in a prayer of dedication in:
1 Chronicles 29:14, But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
The person who kept the whole bushel for himself saw himself as the owner who is in control.
The tithe giver still claims to be the owner and in control but he may share only out of duty.
The one who knows that the whole bushel came from God knows God is the owner and as the owner has the right to control.
The one who knows that the whole bushel is Godís, knows that where his treasure is that is where his heart will be also.
The one who knows that the whole bushel is Godís, lives completely by faith knowing God will supply all his needs from his unending riches, which will be given to him in Christ Jesus.
God has kept you to scatter in his direction.
If you are saved your purpose is to be a steward of all that God has given you.
If you choose to ignore this and adopt the worldís economy of serving yourself with that which God has given you, youíre are a thief and a robber.
When you serve yourself all can be taken away but when you serve God as a steward God is in charge of all with which you are entrusted.
One thing I have learned in my working career is that good stewards are given additional duties because they bring a profit to the owner.
When you are faithful in little things, God is free to entrust you with more to scatter to accomplish His purposes.
Think of your dayís work. Where does your mind go each day?
Is it busy about the ownerís work?
When you recognize God as the owner you then are a faithful steward in relationship to Him and you see Godís priorities as your priorities.
You are left on this Earth to scatter for God.
As a farmer is in the field scattering seed for a harvest that is how I am to conduct my stewardship, that is how you are to conduct your stewardship.
For only by scattering for God can there be an increase.
As Christians we are called to trust in God, not in Wall Street.
As Christians we are called to scatter for God, not to scatter for financial powers of this world.
As a steward in Godís vineyard we are not to worry about this worldís economy falling apart for God is responsible for providing for his stewards.
That is the arrangement in any army.
Soldiers do not worry from where their next meal comes.
They do not concern themselves with what to wear, what to eat, what roof to be over their head.
In Godís economy we are to see ourselves as part of the family of God and as family looks out for its own so God has predestinated us this way.
Read Ephesians 1:5, Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
Jesus tells us that the key to Godís economy is to Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Just like the corn seed yields so many bushels if given up to the soil will you be given many bushels that you may be provisioned to scatter more and more and more.
Corn seed left in the barn is of no use to anyone.
Corn seed hoarded simply turns into useless rotten seed.
It takes a quarter bushel of corn seed to yield 125 bushels.
Withhold corn seed more than is meet, or fitting will always tend to poverty.
Every farmer knows that in order to have a great harvest he has to take the seed out of the bag and generously scatter it to the soil.
He is not stingy or miserly with the seed.
He acts in faith. And that is Godís economy.
God is a giver and wants to give though his children.
Will you be a channel in this venture?
Or will you be a hindrance in his pipeline of giving constantly needing spiritual Drano to free up your seed for scattering.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
Prov 11:24, There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
Have you noticed what the pine trees are doing this year?
Did you notice that about two months ago pine tree seeds filled the air as they left their protected nests in the pine cone and floated to the earth.
I noticed pine tree seeds on the sidewalk and in the grasses as I walked from place to place at work.
Recently during my lunch time walk I have noticed that the seeds have sprouted and are now growing more than I have ever seen before.
This phenomenon is being duplicated on the land by my house.
What is happening here?
Why has this vast pine tree seed scattering taken place? Why are so many pine seedlings growing?
I checked with the Base forester and found out that this phenomenon is hurricane related.
Seems that hurricanes Erin and Opal triggered this profusion of seeds.
Pine tree seeds have a two year evolution.
They are born and nurtured in conelets which when mature become pine cones.
Normally only 30% of conelets survive to produce seeds but for some reason the hurricanes caused near 100% of the conelets to survive.
Perhaps the hurricanes blew off the immature conelets allowing the tree to concentrate its strength on the remainder which survived.
This has produced the greatest seed fall in 35 years according to our Forester.
God knows just when he needs to restore the forests that were greatly damaged by the hurricane winds and the pine bark beetles who attacked the weakened trees.
No good would come of those seeds if left in the cones but when the cones opened and a drying process of the seed and the seed's wing took place, the seed took flight from the cone and scattered.
It scattered not to a place of its own choosing but to a place determined by the height of the tree, the wind velocity, the humidity, the thickness of trees nearby, etc.
It is obvious that this scattering is an example of a scattering that brings increase.
To scatter is to dispel, to scatter is to disburse.
It implies the separating and driving something away so that its form disappears.
To scatter means to separate something into parts at random and drive these in different directions.
Good examples of scattering are the scattering of leaves as they are dropped from trees, seeds as they are scattered by the wind, fertilizer as it is spread on the earth, or salt when it is sprinkled on food,
Each one of these scatterings can bring increase.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
Consider the scattering of salt.
Salt can be scattered with no increase.
You can be superstitious and and believe that the scattering of salt over your shoulder will bring good luck.
This is not a scattereth with increase.
You scatter salt by shaking the shaker over your food.
This scattereth will not give increase in the amount of salt but this scattereth will give an increase in taste of the food.
Note that the increase is not in that which is scattered but the scattering brings increase in something else, taste.
Leaves scattering do not make more leaves yet the leaves give increase as they go back to the ground as nutrients.
Pine tree seeds do not directly make more seeds but the increase from their scattering results in more trees which makes more seeds.
The admonition of Eccl 11:1 to: Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days: does not mean that your bread shall return to you in the form of wet or soggy bread.
Solomon knows the principle of scattering.
Scattereth is done by faith, you do not know where that which is scattered is going or what result will come of it.
You allow that which is scattered to scatter, to leave your possession believing that its scattering will bring increase.
You know that scattering salt on your food will not bring you more salt.
But you scatter it anyway believing that the taste of the food will be enhanced.
Jesus said in Luke 6:38, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
This does not mean that if you give of your money to another that you will be showered with much money.
Note the principle of the pine seedling and the shaken salt.
Give of your salt and it (enhanced taste) shall be given unto you.
God does not necessarily pay in kind.
God always gives good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over.
The cone gives of its seeds, God gives a tree.
The sun gives of its light, from its light life flourishes.
The clouds give rain, and from the rain all life is nourished.
God's scatterings give increase. Scatterings following God's plan always give increase.
As God scatters the rain and the light and the pine seeds He gives us resources which we are to scatter for him.
The money that is given to pay for Children's Bible Club radio is in essence changed into radio waves and scattered in the air and who knows what is accomplished.
The recorded stories that were made 25 years ago are still bringing increase.
What is the heavenly interest rate on the money that made those recordings possible?
Who knows what increase results?
The Projector publication is scattered by the Post Office to how many readers only God knows.
Did some truth presented in an article of the Projector find its way into a sermon of a Pastor resulting in the saving of souls?
God brings increase to all of these efforts on his behalf.
God's word does not return to God void.
God's word is good seed, like this year's pine tree seeds.
God always has a good seed fall.
It shall prosper in the thing whereto He sends it.
And each one of us has an opportunity to get in on the scattering of His word.
Not being a withholder of more than is meet or fitting.
Not keeping for ourselves more than is necessary or right.
God provides for the fowls of the air and he provides for the squirels of the ground.
The fouls do not store up as they are given wings to fly to warmer climes.
But the squirrels can't fly and they store up for the winter.
Each according to their nature.
The squirel withholds for the winter that which is fitting.
He makes preparation for the inevitable and we too should make preparations for the inevitable but it ought to be fitting preparations, reasonable preparations.
Not withholding more than we need but giving, scattering those resources that God has given into our hand and God will give the increase.
Scattering in the name of God always brings increase, but withholding, or restraining, or holding back, more than is meet, more than is fitting tendeth to poverty.