Many themes emerge in the book of Proverbs. As we have discussed, this book of the Bible is a collection of sayings which has not been assembled in a discernible order – topics such as family relationships, wisdom, work ethic, leadership, and so much more are scattered amongst each of the chapters.
This theme is more about style than content. While God is concerned with our hearts and our actions, He appeals to us through some of the Proverbs by means of our senses. We can not escape that we are physical beings, and He wouldn’t have us do that anyway, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him (Psalm 139:14)!
- Taste: “One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.” Proverbs 27:7
- Smell: “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9
- Hearing: “Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.” Proverbs 27:14
- Sight: “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” Proverbs 27:19
We honor God with all that we are – heart, soul, mind, and body!
Stewardship, Demonstrated Through Farming
After moving to rural Texas to homestead, references in Scripture to the pastoral life took on new significance – I could understand them from my own experience. The Old Testament in particular is filled with agricultural references and Proverbs is no exception. The most dominant theme of these farming verses is good stewardship – the wise management of resources.
“Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations?” Proverbs 27: 23-24
“When the grass is gone and the new growth appears and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field. There will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your girls.” Proverbs 27:25-27
“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.” Proverbs 28:19
Diligence is key here. If you don’t constantly pay attention to the state of the things for which you are responsible, you may find yourself with little to show. The harvest will not only provide for you, but also for those for whom you are responsible. We can apply this concept to more than just the physical – spiritual diligence will reap rewards for you and your loved ones!
Compassion for the Poor
Proverbs views compassionate care toward the poor as a positive trait, one that may even bring a harvest for those who give.
“Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.” Proverbs 28:27
“A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.” Proverbs 29:7
Not only are we called to be generous to the poor with our resources, but also with our time, and care about their rights. This compassion is found throughout the Old and New Testament:
In Deuteronomy God commands, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” (Deuteronomy 15:11)
And Jesus said “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:13-14)
Obeying God’s command to love includes compassion for the poor!
We are just a few chapters away from completing our #31DaysInProverbs challenge! What stood out to you as you read through Proverbs 27-29? Share in a comment, or join the discussion in our Facebook community!
Our series so far:
- Printables for Studying Proverbs
- Proverbs 1-2 – Wisdom for Today
- Proverbs 3-5 – Who Is Wisdom?
- Proverbs 6-7 – Practical Warnings
- Proverbs 8-9 – Wisdom Is Calling You
- Proverbs 10-12 – Contrast Between Right and Wrong
- Proverbs 13-16 – Give Attention to the Word
- Proverbs 17-19 – Wisdom for Relationships
- Proverbs 20-23 – 4 Life Lessons for Kids of All Ages
- Proverbs 24-26 – The Source of True Wisdom