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 21:20: “There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it.”
“Desirable treasure” and “oil” are signs of God’s blessings, but are for “the dwelling of the wise.” God blesses the “wise,” or those who obey Him, as Solomon wrote: “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” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19). “Oil” (pressed olives but not petroleum!) was among the plentiful bounties of the Promised Land for the Israelites (Deuteronomy 8:7-10), and was used for burning in lamps (Exodus 27:20-21), dedication of sacred items (Exodus 40:9-11), dedication of kings (1 Samuel 16:11-13), and was included in many sacrifices in Moses’ Law (Leviticus, Numbers). God blesses those who are dedicated to Him.
It takes a “foolish man” to “squander it.” Those who refuse to live by God’s code of conduct will “waste” (literally, scatter, throw away) whatever possessions and life he or she owns (Luke 15:13)! Jesus Christ used “foolish virgins” to show what happens to those who make no provision to keep their lamps burning with oil (Matthew 25:1-13): they are unprepared to go in to the wedding, and once the door is closed, they are left outside. What good does it do for God to bless a fool, who will not learn from those blessings to love and worship the God who gave them?
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
Nudge... (Photo credit: Four Doxn)
Plinky suggested this Nudge today: Confess a wasteful habit of yours.
Doesn’t matter what’s being wasted, be it time, paper, gas, room heat, you name it. What do you do exactly that causes something to be wasted?
If confession is good for the soul, who knows but it may also be good for the budget and the environment?
The older I get, the more I realize the less time I have on earth, and thus, the more I realize how precious time is: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2007/02/11/appreciating-the-value-of-time/. Once time is gone, it can never be reclaimed. Do I waste time? Not that I know of. I’m always busy taking care of my wife, working in the yard, paying bills, grocery shopping, preparing daily meals, studying the Bible, writing articles, reading good books and publications produced by faithful proclaimers of God’s word, preaching and teaching. Doing all of this plus working as a library substitute for our local school district, keeps me plenty busy – never have time to be bored, that’s for certain.
I do watch the news and weather on television, plus two weekly shows, NCIS and Criminal Minds. Don’t know if that’s wasted time or not, because both shows motivate me to use my mind in figuring out the plots.
When I was a child, we wasted nothing. If something broke, it got fixed rather than thrown out. We drove cars until the wheels fell off. We didn’t call in or use a specialist to fix things either. My father was a “jack of all trades” and fixed everything. He fixed leaky pipes, put the new roof on the house, repaired the heat pump, changed the oil in the cars, fixed the radiators when they went out. I even recall helping him change brake shoes and doing body work to patch rusted holes in the car body.
Today, we have no idea how to fix things ourselves. Products are made to not last forever any more, and it’s often cheaper to buy new than to fix. And so we have been trained to use and dispose, and we have become beholden the the manufacturers and repair specialists. We now live in a disposable society.
Whatever happened to the old saying, “waste not, want not”?
Conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin has posted a received e-mail from a US census worker. This is how our government is a government of waste and inefficiency:
Additionally, I can personally attest to the inefficiency and waste of our local school district here in El Paso. It’s a sad state of affairs, to say the least. In my view, term limitations are in order for all elected officials.