A Bountiful Eye
A. A Bountiful Eye
1. Bountiful Defined:
a. Strong’s: Good; rich; valuable; prosperous; bountiful; good; kind; agreeable.
b. Zodhiates: Good; well-pleasing; fruitful; morally correct; proper; convenient; profitable; kind; benevolent.
c. Its basic meaning is “good”—but has lots of various shades of meaning.
d. In this passage, bountiful or generous seems to be the author’s intention.
2. The term speaks of being well provided for… fruitful.
a. Gen. 50:20 – God meant it for “good” (for the well being of the nation).
b. Gen. 41:5 – Seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and “good”. (fat and fruitful)
c. I Kings 10:7 – “Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and “prosperity” exceedeth the fame which I heard.
3. A bountiful eye is a figure of speech that speaks of a person who is always watching out for the well being of others.
a. He keeps his eyes open for the needs of others and supplies those needs as he is able.
b. Prov. 28:22 – The evil eye in this context is the opposite of the “bountiful eye” (or “good eye”).
• It speaks of someone who is selfish and stingy.
• He is NOT looking out for the welfare of others: only himself!
• The stingy man should not expect God’s blessing. He should expect to see poverty.
• He was mean and selfish to people in need throughout his whole life. When he falls onto hard times, people will remember that about him. He will have few friends who want to take care of his needs.
B. For he giveth of his bread to the poor
1. This expression further defines the “bountiful eye.”
2. He shares his bread (food; and other necessities of life) with the poor.
3. The poor: Low; poor; weak; needy; helpless; insignificant.
4. The Hebrew word for GIVETH is “Nathan.”
a. It means to give or to place something somewhere.
b. He gives of what he has to the poor.
c. It is translated “bringeth forth” in Ps. 1:3: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.”
d. The tree gives forth its fruit in the proper season.
e. In a similar fashion, the man with a bountiful eye, “brings forth fruit” to the needy in his season of need.
f. Ex. 30:14 – It is also used of “giving” an offering unto the Lord.
5. The man with a bountiful eye demonstrates the fact that he has a bountiful eye not just by LOOKING, but by GIVING.
a. He does not just look to see who has a need.
b. James 2:16 – James asks, “If you see the need and send them away empty, what profit is there in that kind of faith?”
c. He does something about it. He provides what he can to meet that need.
d. I John 3:17 – John asks a similar question. If we see the need and don’t meet it, how can we say that the love of God is in us?
e. The love of God does not just LOOK at needs; it meets them.
f. The bountiful eye Solomon describes is the person who keeps his eyes OPEN for those in need… and tries to help.
6. Deut. 15:7-11 (vs.10) – In fact, under the Law, the Jews were commanded to GIVE to the poor.
a. “Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him.”
b. Note: They were not only to give to the poor, but they were forbidden to do so grudgingly. They were not to give with a grieved heart… but a happy, joyous heart.
7. Prov. 14:31 – the one who shows mercy to the poor is also honoring God.
1. Blessed: bara?
a. Defined: Praise; bless; kneel before; salute.
b. Certainly the poor who have received of his bounty will bless him… and speak well of him. (bend the knee before him).
c. But so does God bless such a person. This proverb is the proof of it!
2. Many Bible passages speak of blessing upon those who help their poor brethren.
a. Prov. 28:27 – Shall not lack.
b. Prov.14:21 – He will be “happy” or blessed.
c. Prov.11:25 – He shall be made fat and well watered.
d. Ps. 41:1-3 – The blessings of the Lord upon those who consider the poor.
e. Acts 20:35 – The Lord Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
f. II Cor. 9:6-7 – “He that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
3. This passage is similar to the previous proverb.
a. vs. 8 – If you sow iniquity, you will reap vanity.
b. vs. 9 – If you sow benevolence, you will reap blessing.
c. They are both different takes… or different applications of the oft repeated principle: you reap what you sow.
4. Two Forms of Abuse Concerning the Concept of “Blessing”
a. The first is assuming that “blessing” always means physical blessings in this life.
• Luke 14:12-14 – Recompense does not always come in this life. It may not come until the resurrection.
• It requires FAITH to lay up treasures in heaven… giving up in this life to gain in the life to come.
• Those who have the mentality of Esau (I want my porridge now) will have no interest in heavenly treasures.
• Those with a carnal, earthly, Esau-like concept of the Christian life will have no interest giving NOW to gain LATER.
b. The second is an abuse of motive: Giving in order to GET.
• This is twisting scripture to one’s own advantage.
• It is pure selfishness and greed.
• It is diabolical in my opinion.
• This use of Scripture has become quote common in our day and age: USING the Bible for personal advantage.
» Some use principles in the Bible for the purpose of causing their business to prosper
» Others use Biblical principles to help them lose weight… or make friends… or to be happy.
» Others use the Bible in order to make themselves rich.
• That is not at all the proper motive in GIVING.
• This is clearly NOT the intention of the passages… but if one is predisposed to greed and self will, such passages are easily twisted… to one’s own destruction.
• It undermines the real purpose in giving: manifesting the LIFE and love of Christ through our mortal bodies.
• Instead of being a demonstration of the self sacrificing love of Christ, it is a demonstration of selfish greed of the old man.
5. Examples of abuse by using Bible principles to GET physical blessings in this life:
a. K.H. Caldwell: The Gospel of Good Success: A Six-Step Program to Spiritual, Emotional and Financial Success
b. Kenneth Hagin: In the opening chapter, titled “Jesus Appears to Me,” Hagin claims that while he was “in the Spirit,” Jesus told him to get a pencil and a piece of paper. He then instructed him to “write down: 1, 2, 3, 4.” Jesus then allegedly told Hagin that “if anybody, anywhere, will take these four steps or put these four principles into operation, he will always receive whatever he wants from Me or from God the Father.” That includes whatever you want financially. The formula is simply: “Say it, Do it, Receive it, and Tell it.”
• Step number one is “Say it.” “Positive or negative, it is up to the individual. According to what the individual says, that shall he receive.”
• Step number two is “Do it.” “Your action defeats you or puts you over. According to your action, you receive or you are kept from receiving.”
• Step number three is “Receive it.” We are to plug into the “powerhouse of heaven.” “Faith is the plug, praise God! Just plug in.”
• Step number four is, “Tell it” so others may believe. This final step might be considered the Faith movement’s outreach program.
c. Kenneth Copeland states the faith formula this way: “All it takes is 1) seeing or visualizing whatever you need, whether physical or financial; 2) staking your claim on Scripture; and 3) speaking it into existence.”
d. Joel Osteen: Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, which in 2008 boasted average weekend attendance of 43,500
• Book: Your Best Life Now
• “You were born to win; you were born for greatness, you were created to be a champion in life” (p. 35), and abundance, “He wants you to live in abundance.
• “God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas and creativity” (p. 5).
e. It never ceases to amaze me how a teaching so diametrically opposed to the truth of God’s Word can be swallowed by so MANY gullible people… all claiming to be born again!
4. We are to consider the poor and share our bread with them… NOT so that God will make us rich and successful in this life… but rather so that we might manifest the life and love of Christ unto the glory of God. Those are two very different motivations.