Proverbs 12: 11
He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who pursues vain things lacks sense.
In case you didn't know... I'm a city mouse, not a country mouse.
Although I have had romantic ideas that I would have loved to have been a country mouse.
Thankfully, the Lord in His wisdom knew the truth--
I am not sturdy enough to be a country mouse.
(Read that-- wimp)
Anyway, I know that this verse has real practical application, even for us city people.
Hard work, generally, leads to sufficient pay so that we do not go hungry.
If we aren't willing to work yet wonder why there is a rumbly in our tumbly,
we're not "playing with a full deck" so to speak.
When I read this verse I briefly thought about the literal land that must be tilled in order to provide eventual bread to eat.
Ah, but what I thought about most is this verse:
"It is written, "Man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
Digging into bible study is a lot like tilling soil. It's hard work.
Sometimes it harder than other times, but always,
it requires effort, stamina, and patience.
But, like eating the fruit from the land that has been worked,
digging into the Scripture and mining truths hidden in God's Word is rewarded with the satisfying Bread of Life.
In John 6:51 Jesus says,
"I am the living bread that came down out of heaven;
if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;
and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."
Over time I have discovered that reading and study the bible is not so much to learn about "the bible."
I read the bible because it reveals the heart, character, nature, and perfect love of Jesus.
In the same way we look through a telescope and not necessarily at a telescope,
we look through Scripture to see Jesus.
When I make the effort to truly study and meditate of the Word of God,
I am satisfied deep in my soul.
Ah... but I've also experienced the second half of our verse.
"... but he who pursues vain things lacks sense."
The word pursue in Hebrew means, "to chase after; hunt"
and vain means, "empty and meaningless."
I used to watch a lot of T.V..
In fact, as a child I would tell time by T.V.
(let's go back in time shall we?)
My Dad would come home from work and we would have a conversation like this...
Me: Hi Dad, Mom called for you.
(Remember, I grew up pre-cell phone, pre-pager in the land of 10 cents a call phone booths)
Dad: Oh yeah, what time did she call?
Me: Uh, I don't know... Sometime between Andy Griffith and Hogan's Heroes.
Talk about pursuing vain things and having no sense!!!
It was many years ago now, that the Lord had to show me that I don't know how to watch "a little bit" of television. I get completely sucked in and believe me, it's not pretty.
I watched one season of American Idol a few years after I stopped watching T.V..
You could not have a conversation with me and not have it turn, some how, to American Idol.
It was so weird.
I knew I was in trouble the morning I woke up singing,
"I'm leaving, on the midnight train to Georgia."
Talk about red flags! Whoa.
I know for certain that what I put in (reading material, movies, music, etc...)
will come out one way or another.
I pay attention to what I say because I am a living color example of,
"...for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."
I want my mouth to speak of the Lord and His goodness.
I want to share how He satisfies my soul and never leaves me lacking.
I pray regularly for the "raining" of the Holy Spirit to make the work of tilling easier.
But mostly, I'm thankful that the Lord is faithful to re-direct me when I'm off chasing empty and worthless things.
Truly, His grace is amazing.