Proverbs 14 Commentary
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Verse 23. I have ‘preached’ about hard work but never came close to being this bold! All hard work?
Select the right path or career and work hard. Diligence pays off. This is what we know. In fact, many are so removed from the realities of scripture that they only think of benefits. Choose a well-paying career and you are done. Never mind diligence.
But the meat is not in choosing the right career. Neither is diligence by itself. The key lies in an appreciation of the fact that the LORD blesses the works of one’s hand. The LORD had instituted work as the means to the blessing of prosperity. The Garden of peace and tranquility was actually Adam’s workplace.
This chapter is highlighting the folly of pursuing the gift without the gift-giver. Or more appropriately, the lessons here are not independent of the Teacher. Laziness leads to poverty but that isn’t the biggest problem. Oppress the poor and the victims will experience intense pain and suffering. But again that isn’t the biggest problem. Contempt for their Maker and dishonoring God’s instructions – that is the point here.
The Book of Proverbs is not exactly like a rule book. It is more like an exposition of man’s rebellious heart. It is an invitation to examine one’s heart in the light of the principles laid down. Then you can check your own heart for the pain of rebellion. It is no longer about rules and wise statements. Each heart must know its own bitterness and seek Wisdom.
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