“He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.” Proverbs 12:11
As I was reading the above verse this morning, an asterisk next to the word “understanding” caught my eye and gave me the desire to understand a bit more about the treasure hidden in the expanded meaning of this particular word in conjunction with the rest of the verse.
So, letting my curiosity and the nudging of the Holy Spirit get the best of me, here is what I found the word “understanding” meant in the original Hebrew text. The word is the noun “lēv” which was a word used by the Hebrews to convey “…the totality of man’s inner or immaterial nature.” I also thought it was interesting that the word above which reads “follows” in the NKJV translation, translates into “hunt after with hostile intent” – a bit more forceful of a word then what I would have understood if I would have just stuck with my translation. (Translations taken from The Complete Word Study Old Testament by Zodhiates)
A few years ago a heard a sermon from A.W. Tozer about the place of women in the home and in church. And, as I was thinking over how this verse translates to life and an application, I was brought to think about that particular sermon. Tozer’s main point, as I remember, was that if women are not busy with the work of the Lord in their homes, in the church, and in the lives of those put under their care, then their idle time is often directed into meddling into things they should not be meddling in. Now, you may see that way of thinking as old fashioned and I admit Tozer lived in a different era then we do now, but as a woman of a few generations past the time his message was given I believe the underlying premise of Tozer’s message was spot on.
As women we are relational and much of the work we do intertwines our lives with the lives of others. If we do not put our energies into tilling the soil around us so that we and the people God has put in our lives to care for can be satisfied with the work of our hands – food for body, mind, and soul – then our reserve energies usually find a way of hunting out vain and ungodly ways of livings – which meddle in affairs we should have no part in. It is in these places our hearts get off track and our entire nature that was once set on God can find a loss for the fervor of the things of God which once captivated it.
We must remember each season we encounter in our lives is a season for planting and growing a particular fruit God has ordained for our lives in the orchard or field He has put us in. We are not to choose what we plant or where we are to plant it, we are just to be obedient in planting and working hard in getting the soil ready and then tending its growth. In the end, we will find complete satisfaction in the work of our hands and in the nourishment it provides to us and those under our care – the rest of the things which are out of our scope of work we must trust that God will take care of in His time and in His way.
Today make a point to be diligent in doing all that has been set before your hands to be busy in and know that in doing so your heart will be guarded against going astray from the Lord you love.