Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Good n' Plenty or Bad n' Plenty?

Proverbs 28:19

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.

Putting your face to the plow is always of some value whereas chasing fantasies is always a luxury which, if indulged in too often, produces more than its share of unfulfilled desires. The danger of religion is that it is productive on a pragmatic and practical level. It does get things done. The questions is not, "Is it effective?", but rather, "To what end is it effective?" Things getting done is only as valuable as the things themselves have value.

[Additionally (and perhaps parenthetically - for example) gettings things done leaves little time to dwell in that which was done once for all.]

We can worship will power in either direction. We either are sure to "always" do this and "never" do that or we are sure to do whatever we desire and do it with no restraint. Religion and irreligion both are manifestations of will power (or perhaps more rightly: will powerlessness). Will power either becomes our god our our devil. We are sure we are saved because, "We can," or we find salvation in knowing that another cannot tell us we can't. One seeks to harness will power. Another seeks to unleash it.

"Do you want plenty?"
"YES!" you empathically reply as you jut out your open hand in eager anticipation.
You should respond rather by asking, "plenty of what?"

I love the play on words in this proverb. The use of the word "plenty" becomes key with regard to what follows it. Plenty of bread or plenty of poverty. I would bet most people associate the word plenty with positive feelings. We assume plenty means "more awesome" because we like more of whatever, and after all, we probably deserve it! (right?). But if you pursue plenty of worthless pursuits you will have your hands full of poverty. Truck fulls of poverty. You can build a big ol' mansion of poverty.  A veritable pallet of poverty.

The point:
Work hard (especially if you like to eat). Do the thing that lies at hand.
Hobbies are luxuries. Treat them as such.

Not because you have to, but because you get to. Not because your salvation depends on it, but because God's reputation by you is represented. Not because His glory depends on you, but because you have good works prepared beforehand for you and you should walk in them now.

The rally cry of justification by faith alone in election is yoked the reality of all that God has prepared for those who love Him (including even their faithful service to Him).

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