Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 22:26 Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. 27 If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you? 28 Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set. 29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
A Heart For Stuff
At first glance I didn’t see the common thread linking these verses but after I gave it some thought it’s really quite clear. There are three obvious examples of how men strive to get ahead in life.
I want to focus mostly on the first thing Solomon mentions and then we will touch on the other two.
Solomon tells us how we should not be one of those kind of people who put up security for loans and then make promises to pay. Is Solomon saying never take out a loan? I don’t believe so because there are times borrowing and loaning is mentioned in the Bible with no seeming implication of wrong doing by either party. However there is a heart behind some borrowing which is obsessive and self centered and can ruin a persons life.
Every day in the world people see things and their heart begins pounding for them… not out of necessity but out of lust… Credit Cards hit their limit over and over…. and people become poorer and poorer in money and in their heart towards God. Whether our heart aches for a new houses or vehicle or guns or boats… by the way none of these are bad in themselves… they can all be blessings from God that glorify him for sure.. but if our heart yearns and hungers for these things to fill the void that God wants to fill then something is wrong.
And for believers, satan gets what he wants… he ties our hands and keeps us working day in and day out to pay debts and so we have little extra time for our new mission in Christ… We have less time for our family and less time to help our neighbor build a fence or or fill any need in Christs name… Hopefully we share the good news of Jesus at our jobs… but unless we have repented from our heart for things we will likely not be interested in sharing Christ at work or anywhere else. As slaves to our loans we are also tied down financially so we contribute less or not at all to those in need around us and giving towards making disciples in all the world.
So we have touched on three things that mess our life up when we become slaves to the loans we have taken out.
One is that our worship begins shifting from God to the things of the world.
Secondly, our incoming money shifts from our new mission in Christ to paying for things.
Thirdly, our time is taken away from us. We spend it not only paying for those things we’ve given our life to… but also spending time with them and taking care of them. that is… dusting, storing, repairing, even using in an effort to find satisfaction because we believed the promises of the world over the promises of God.
Solomon also gives us a couple more examples of how people get ahead in life. I’ll read the last two verses again and then briefly touch on them.
28 Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set. 29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
Some get ahead by reinterpreting truths to suit their own interests. They take advantage of others by making a case based on passion and smooth talk. They take things out of context and manipulate the poor and helpless.
Then in closing Solomon tells us a better way. That is dependable and skillful workmanship. This is glorifying to God.
Ecclesiastics 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,…
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
When we fervently glorify God by honest and good work, we are emulating him…
Actually, if the Lord is our worship then It is Him who is at work in us… and he will not let up or quit… he will not turn back but he, like an artist, a potter… greater than any expert craftsman is making us into an amazing vessel that will mightily glorify himself and in doing he brings great joy to us.
Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 138:8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.