(#56) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:11-Don’t “Buy the Farm”—Yet!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:11: “He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.”

The association of agriculture and hard work goes back to the Garden of Eden. God “planted a garden” (Genesis 2:8), but when man was created, he was “put in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). After sin entered the world, man was burdened with: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). Hard working farmers should be able to share in their harvest, for “he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Corinthians 9:10). Rulers must accept the fact that, without farmers, they have no kingdom! Solomon later would say: “Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field” (Ecclesiastes 5:9). Eating “bread” is another way of saying farmers should be in the plowing and profiting business. The “hope” of hard work is profiting from it and providing for one’s family. It is hypocrisy to curse the farmer with a mouthful of food! Whatever is done to discourage farming, or force farmers to sell their farms, is destroying the entire country.

Instead of working the land when needed, “frivolity” distracts from the real task at hand. The parallel proverb shows how wrong “frivolity” really is: Proverbs 28:19: “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” Entertainment instead of agriculture reveals one as being “devoid of understanding,” or worse, having “poverty enough!” It is senseless to neglect food production for fun and games! Other proverbs on this subject include: Proverbs 13:23: “Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste;” Proverbs 27:18: “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored;” Proverbs 27:23: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds.” Hard work is always the answer for poor economy, and “the poor” are often that way because of a lack of effort! Only thieves and robbers would steal “bread” (from the profits) without engaging in the hard work it took to produce it! Over-emphasizing entertainment is simply spreading “poverty” instead of encouraging bread-winners!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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