PROVERB PRACTICALS     sharing god's goodness, proverbs 11:27, audio

 

Proverbs 11:27,  He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

My mother was born 110 years ago in South Dakota in a small happy town.

I know it must have been a happy town for it was called by the name, Gayville when the word gay meant merry, jovial, sportive, or frolicsome.

The word gay used to have a good reputation but today it has fallen on hard times.

Today that town, with a population of 418 souls, is known as the Hay Capital of the World in competition with another close by town by the name of Meckling which calls itself the Hay Capital of the Universe.

Must be some good competitive folks there trying to make a name for their town!

When my mother was 18 she passed a test in order to be a teacher and was given a country school where she taught all 8 grades.

She even rode a horse to school when the roads were too muddy to use her Ford Touring Car, a car without heat, wipers or even a starter.

So with a country upbringing by immigrant parents from Norway, my mother was an old timey mother and as such she was given to instructing her children, my sisters and I, with the use of common child rearing sayings.

I remember her as having a saying for every childhood experience.

The words "You are not the only pebble on the beach" still ring in my ears.

Of course this saying was a sharp pin meant to pop my self esteem, modern words which has replaced the word Pride.

And of course my ears were not neglected from her sayings for they heard, "Go wash your ears.

They are so dirty you could grow potatoes in them."

"What, were you born in a barn" was cast at me when I did not close the door.

Or "do you think we own the electric company", when I failed to turn off the light switch.

Or when I was standing in the way of something she wished to see I would hear, "You make a better door than a window!"

At the dinner table we were admonished to "Eat your carrots, they will make you see better."

And for things over which we had no control I heard from my Mom, "Donít cry over spilt milk."

And for the results of bad decisions she came at me with "You made your bed, so now you lie in it" or "Don't come crying to me when it all goes wrong."

And have you heard this one lately which was very popular with my mother?

Donít sit there like a bump on a log.

My Mom knew that idle hands are the devilís workshop.

My Mom knew that God made boys, men, girls and women, to be active.

She knew that men and women, boys and girls came equipped by God to be doers and just sitting around like a bump sits around on a log was not to her liking.

She saw a child who was not reacting in a useful or helpful way to the activities around him and pushed him to get off his backside, and get busy.

Or did she use the word duff?

But thank the Lord she was so old timey for she put in me, in conjunction with my father, values which have been so useful to me all my life in whatever endeavor I have been called to do.

Our proverb emphasizes some of those values for it pictures busy active people.

Proverbs 11:27,  He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

Our proverb pictures those engaged in good and those engaged in mischief but in this picture we do not see any bumps on logs for both are busy!

The KJV writing of this proverb uses the word seeketh twice.

The one who seeks good and the one who seeks mischief.

But the thought is not clear by the use of the word seek in both places.

The first seek in reference to seeking good, refers to rising up early to diligently do something.

It means getting at the task at hand first thing.

There is not a casual attitude expressed toward the doing of something but there is a sense of urgency to do it.

But the second seeketh pertaining to mischief is not the same for this word means searching.

It, in essence, means looking for something diligently.

In the context of this proverb it means looking for trouble.

So the doer of good is diligently seeking to do good early in the morning while the mischief maker is looking for something in which to make mischief or trouble.

But both are busy at the task.

Jesus Christ was busy about his Fatherís business and said emphatically, I must be about my fatherís business.

Mother Mary never once said to her son, Jesus, Donít sit there like a bump on a log.

The Apostle Peter said about Christ in Acts 10:38,  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Jesus rose early in the day with a must do attitude and this attitude moved him to do good everywhere he went.

So, as his children, he is our pattern.

It tells us that Man was not created to be idle.

God immediately gave Adam and Eve much to do in the Garden of Eden and they were not given a garden to be bumps on logs.

God had given man the tools to be active.

He gave man a mind with which to plan and hands and feet with which to form things.

He has given us all the raw materials we need to have whatever we desire.

But they all come in a fashion that need our input for final consumption.

So men, women, boys and girls, were not put on this Earth to be just sitting around doing nothing.

Jesus Christ walked the dusty trails of Israel, not content to remain in one place for he diligently sought out opportunities to do good.

He was always pro-active.

He did not wait for opportunities to come to him for doing good but went out on the highways and byways finding opportunities.

Remember how Jesus looked up after he passed through Jericho and found the short Publican Zacchaeus, a wee little man, who had climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Jesus.

Jesus said:  make haste for today I must abide at your house.

He must abide at the house of Zacchaeus.

There was an urgency for Jesus to do good on his behalf for that day salvation came to that house.

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Psalm 68:19, tells us:  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.

I can attest to that, for some days I burst with gratitude to God for his benefits.

There is no end to them for he is a God of beneficence.

He loves to give to his children and he loves for his children to also love to give in His name.

We are created in his image and those of us who are his children by the blood of his Son are being conformed to his image and that image includes beneficence, liberality, openhandedness and generosity.

Christian means Christ like.

Christ diligently went about doing good on a pro-active basis.

He expects us to put our ear to the ground so as to find ways of doing good and doing it on his behalf.

This idea has come up so often in our Bible studies that it seems God is telling us to not be sedentary about this which means being passive.

We should not have to be told or pushed or motivated, or encouraged, or excited or energized to do this.

God is telling us that we should not have to be constantly moved by emotional appeals to do what we are created in Christ Jesus to do.

Ephesians 2:10,  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Notice that phrase, that we should walk in them.

This means it is to be a way of life.

It is not to be one time highs in life to do good but it is to be a walk, which means it is to be our occupation.

Being born again means that you now have a new occupation and that occupation is good works.

Try putting that on a resume!

But Godís children are made for usefulness.

Everyday that we consider a wasted day ought to bring us to repentance before the Lord.

At night before bedtime our mind ought to reflect on the day as to what good we did and what good we can do tomorrow.

Did we wait for opportunities or did we make opportunities?

Our proverb tells us that he that diligently seeketh good procureth favor.

See how pro-active this is.

There are all kinds of ways to do good.

Friday I went to the bank and I met a long line at the tellerís window.

I was humming the tune to the song "Jesus is coming again", not even realizing it and found a place behind a woman about my age who turned and said something about my humming brightening her day.

What a surprise to me that my humming would brighten anyoneís day but we were able to engage in a short conversation as I tried to recite the words to the song.

I was able to recite the title and a few phrases and we both were reminded of the coming of Christ.

She related to me that she was a recent widow and wished that she had gone along with her husband at his passing for she missed him so and was ready to go to heaven.

Fortunately the Lord allowed my humming to be heard by a soul that was blessed by it.

Perhaps she needed a little encouragement

This was a very little thing but much of Godís goodness is expressed in little things.

Doing those little things is part of the good works for which we were created.

They ought to fill our lives as we walk, as we conduct our occupation.

We have been given a responsibility to be Godís agents for good upon this Earth.

We are to rise up early with a spring in our step, with joy in our hearts asking God what our daily mission is to be for Him.

We are to be a means that God uses to bless others.

God gives each of us talents, each of us spheres of influence, each of us assets to use for His glory.

He is looking for agents who will be in the field of harvest spreading His goodness in an abounding way.

All of his children can be engaged in this occupation.

Some are endowed to do much, some endowed to do less but all are endowed to do something.

In doing this we will procure favor for in living for others we live our lives to the fullest and in that we will find true happiness and in fact delight.

It seems by the contrast given in our proverb God is pricking our minds to the thought that wouldnít it be wonderful if those who do good for God could be as diligent about it as those who search to do mischief.

For they seem to search for it with a diligence far beyond the diligence of Godís people.

Jesus alluded to their heightened level of diligence when he said in Luke 16:8,  the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

But in that kind of worldly wisdom there is nothing but danger for as those who diligently rise up early with desires to do good for others procure favor, those who look for trouble, those who engage in mischief, trouble and mischief will track them down.

The chief mischief maker, Satan, learned that truth early when in Genesis 3:15 he learned of his fate because of what he brought into the Garden, for the bruising of Christís heel will bring ultimate bruising to his head.

Read the book of the Revelation to see how God brings this mischief to the table of judgment where the wrath of God is exercised in its fullest.

Satanís chief of mischief will be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

And all those who join in his mischief will meet their fate as we are told in 2 Thessalonians 2,  for with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

What a pleasure seeking world this is today.

How diligent pleasure is sought today, pleasure that is full of mischief.

Oh, what a different world this would be if Godís people would rise up early seeking Godís will as to spreading good and beneficence for Him instead of joining with the world in loving its pleasures.

Proverbs 11:27,  He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.