(#153) The Proverbs of Solomon 21:5-Hurry Up And Lose

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 21:5: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”

Work, hard work, and plenty of it is the only way to true wealth. Though God could have Created “the heavens and the earth” instantaneously, He used 6 days to establish a work ethic for humankind (Genesis 1:1-2:3). His example established the principle of daily work, which He commanded in the Law of Moses: “”Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed” (Exodus 23:12); and in the Law of Christ: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). “Steadfast” and “immovable” are the characteristics of “steady” and “sure.” The Apostle Paul obeyed God’s work ethic to support his preaching of the Gospel: “For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). Other proverbs emphasize this principle: “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men” (Proverbs 22:29); “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds; For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations. When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself, And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, The lambs will provide your clothing, And the goats the price of a field; You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food, For the food of your household, And the nourishment of your maidservants” (Proverbs 27:23-27).

The other side of this is found in the common phrase, “haste makes waste.” ALL shortcuts, fast tracks, or quick remedies will fail. There is no gambling game, lottery, raffle, pool, sweepstake, betting, or bookmaking that substitutes for diligent, daily, hard work, either in personal satisfaction or security. “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning Will not be blessed at the end” (Proverbs 20:21). Second generation fortunes seldom survive; most lottery winners squander their monies; those on an unearned government dole can lose it on a whim; gamblers are generally just contributing their bets to someone else’s jackpot! No one has ever thought of a scheme that betters God’s principle of satisfying work! Solomon will later say: “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12). He then explains: “Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).

Keeping busy is the work of God which He rewards, but hastening to be rich will fail. Do you want to hurry up and lose?

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

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Marks of Hard Work

Do you bear in your body the marks of hard work and diligence? Brian Larson tells the story of a co-worker’s encounter with the great conductor, George Szell.

Over our office lunch recently I visited with a fellow employee named Cindy and learned that her father taught music at Wheaton College and also coordinated the Artist Series. He had the privilege of meeting celebrated musicians who were to perform at the College. George Szell, legendary music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, was one of them when Cindy was in her early teen years. Cindy’s father introduced her to Szell and pointed out that she played the viola. Ever the taskmaster, the visiting maestro put his fingers under her chin and lifted to see the left side of her jaw. “It doesn’t look like she practices much,” Szell said, making a serious point in a playful manner. As violinists and viola players know, the more you practice, the more the skin under the jaw where the violin is held is darkened. Disciplined, hard work leaves its mark.

from a _Preaching Today_ email by Brian Larson

#diligence, #discipline, #hard-work

First paying job?

Technically, my first paying job was feeding the neighbors cats, followed by baby sitting. Neither did I do frequently or regularly, so one could hardly think of that as earning any kind of living. The first real, steady job I had was working at a local greenhouse and floral shop. I worked there beginning with when I could drive and continued through much of college. I started out sweeping floors and potting plants. As I proved my ability to handle responsibility, I was given more important tasks. When all was said and done, I had done just about every job there except for cutting checks to pay the bills and the employees. That included working with the wealthy customers to decorate their home for elaborate parties and directing weddings. The job paid minimum wage, regardless of what I did or how hard I worked, but it was good experience and a nice steady paycheck. Still, it was good incentive to do well in college so I could get a higher paying job!

#hard-work, #job, #pay, #work