Proverbs 12:11 ESV
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
Mankind loves to be the center of attention, and mankind hates to work. These two truths come together to make ‘worthless pursuits’- carnal, empty entertainment, flashy stunts, get-rich-quick schemes, and more- to make these worthless pursuits very attractive. Who doesn’t want to slack off, have some fun, and get everybody to admire them?
The author of this proverb urges his listeners to turn aside from such meaningless frivolities. While you may enjoy your time now, he implies, the cold will come, and like the grasshopper in the fable, you will not have bread. The words ‘he who does not work does not eat’ are not merely words of guidance or principle; they are a statement of the facts of life. If a man does not work, he will not eat save by the charity of those more industrious than himself.
In contrast, he who chooses the less glamorous route of duty and not pleasure will have plenty. God does not promise fame, riches, and power as a reward for such diligence. He does not promise the easy, continuous pleasure of ‘worthless pursuits’, which feel good now and in the next few minutes. The duty of man, however, is to build dominion over the earth (Gen __). In fulfilling that duty, man finds fulfillment of his own purpose and a means by which he may glorify God.
The apotheosis of this ethic is, of course, Christ Jesus Himself. Christ could have come in glory; He could have established Himself by His might in a perpetual train of pleasures and past-times; He could have disregarded the path of evangelism and self- sacrifice which he embarked upon in the three years prior to His ignominious and all-glorious death. Instead, Christ took up the duty which He and His Father had set for Him, and He brought the news of the coming of the Messiah to all Israel, that they might hear and believe or reject and be damned. Anyone who reads the Gospels knows that Christ’s journeys were not luxurious or easy; they were not grand processions of triumph. Even the Triumphal Entry was accomplished upon the back of a donkey, not the noble war horse or the proud elephant. Christ chose the humble path; He chose to “work His land”.
Who can deny the fruit of His labor? Is it not He who saves and preserves us?
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.