Proverbs 27:25-27, The hay appeareth, and the tender grass showeth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.
This passage is a continuation of the passage we studied last week.
We were told to be diligent to know the state of our flocks and our herds because the material blessings of God are not continued without diligence.
We will not have healthy flocks and strong herds without effort on our part.
Continuation of material blessings require us to be diligent.
But God does not leave us to our own strength.
God is a partner in allowing us to have healthy and strong flocks.
He enters into our labors.
God is the key to healthy and strong flocks.
Where does the needed rain and the needed sunshine come if not from God who is faithful to his creation.
He means for his creation to be fruitful and he provides for it to be fruitful and in its fruitfulness we are blessed.
God provides opportunities for man and he provides the wherewithal whereby any diligence that we exercise is rewarded.
Why does the hay appear?
Why does the tender grass show itself?
Does not the herbage of the mountains come regularly for gathering?
Why do sheep grow wool and why can wool be made into clothes?
By raising goats cannot we turn a profit and buy the field in which they graze?
Does not the hay tell us of a Father that provides?
Can we see God in the tender grass that follows the cold of the winter?
For whom are the herbs of the mountains grown?
Do they not show us that God is a partner in our diligence.
Does not he provide for our success?
Does he command us to be diligent without providing for a successful outcome of that diligence?
God does not leave us alone but invests in our diligence and industry. He backs our efforts.
He gives us basic materials that when diligence is applied results in the provision of our needs and the needs of our household.
The hay and the tender grass, the grazing sheep and the goats, cry out to men of God's providence and his care.
They cry out for diligence and hard work on the part of man.
Even the hands of man verify the fact that work must be done.
Hands were made to grip tools.
Hands were made to plants seeds.
Hands were made to lift and move the grass and the hay and to shear the sheep.
God expects a man to provide for his household but he does not expect him to do it alone.
God expects him to use the basic materials that he provides and apply diligence to those materials.
That is God's economy and anything outside that economy God will not bless.
That is why handouts and giveaways are not according to God's word.
Welfare is not to be given to the able.
Doesn't God's word say in the new testament that if a man does not work he should not eat?
With diligence God provides goats milk, but somebody has got to milk the goat.
God provides milk for your food but somebody's got to mix it in as an ingredient.
God provides the hay but somebody's got to bail it and store it over the winter.
God provides but he always includes in his provision the necessity to apply diligence in order to make his provision useful for the household.
This is a principle with God's provision to his children and it ought to be a principle of ours to our children.
As children grow they become able.
As they become more able they must be required to use those abilities to do for themselves.
Give the child the basic materials and let them use them to provide themselves the finished product.
Give them shoes but expect them to tie the shoes and shine the shoes when they are able.
Give them food but expect them to assist in the preparation and/or the cleanup from the meal.
Give them clothes but expect them to wash the clothes and fold the clothes as soon as they are able.
Give them training and an education but expect them to use that training and education in a practical and diligent way that adds to the value of the family.
If they memorize scripture they should recite that scripture to the family.
Use their ability to read for the family's benefit.
If we are to rear Godly children we must rear them in the same manner that God rears his children.
We must provide for them the same way that God provides for his children.
Diligence must be included in order to get benefit from the provision.
We are to require diligence of our children when providing for our children.
For this is the example that God gives us when he connects the requirement to be diligent by the kind of provisions that he supplies.
You see God provides clothes, food and land but he does not hand them over to us without us providing an investment of diligence on our part.
God expects us to cut the hay and tend the grass and gather the herbs and milk the goats and shear the sheep, and make the clothes.
None to these things come ready made because he always provides us opportunity to exercise diligence.
And so also ought we to our children!