Proverbs 12:11

Satisfied with Bread

11a He that tilleth his land…

1. Previously Solomon noted that the righteous man takes care of his animals.

2. Now he states that he also takes care of his fields.

3. This man is on the ball… a hard worker… he takes care of business.

a. This man does NOT follow vain persons.

b. Proverbs makes this kind of statement several times.
• 27:18 – the one who takes care of his fig tree gets to eat the fruit!
• 13:11 – labor brings increase! You want increase? You’ve got to work.
• 13:23 – there is much food in the tillage even of the poor… hard working poor people eat well!
• 14:23 – in all labor there is profit.
• 27:23-27 – take care of your flocks and you will have plenty of milk and meat.
• 22:29 – a man who is diligent in his business (whatever it may be) will stand before kings… exalted… honored…

c. The Bible HONORS the concept of hard, honest, diligent labor.

4. Tilling the land was commonplace in ancient times, but not so today—unless your business is a farm.

a. This principle should be applied to WHATEVER your business is…
• You don’t have to be a farmer. Nobody here is… at least for a living.
• But whatever we do, God requires diligence.
• Ecc. 9:10 – whatever you put your hand to do—do it with all diligence.
• Matthew Henry: “Keep thy shop and thy shop will keep thee.”
• Whether you own your own business; or work for a large corporation; or a small company—God wants His people to be hard workers.

b. Certainly this principle should be applied to you young people in your schoolwork… “till your field” Do your homework! Dig deep into your studies! This honors God.

5. This principle holds true for Christian ministry too…

a. I Tim. 5:17 – elders who rule well… double honor…

b. Rom. 12:11 – not slothful in business, but fervent…

c. Heb. 6:10-11 – our ministry is to continue—with all diligence. No rocking chairs in the Lord’s service.

6. We could ALL apply this principle to God’s Word too…

a. It is a field of study just waiting to be “tilled”—dug into… studied.

b. II Tim. 2:15 – Study (give diligence) to show thyself approved…

c. Those who study the Word receive GREAT satisfaction from their efforts.

d. God’s “pay” for such labor is in the inner satisfaction to the soul that results from time spent in studying His truth.

11b Shall be satisfied with bread.

1. Satisfy: to be enriched; satiated; fulfilled; to have in abundance…

2. The believer who “tills the land” of God’s Word will be richly rewarded… with satisfaction!

a. Some folks don’t seem to discover wonderful “nuggets” in the Word… for one reason: they haven’t been tilling the land!

b. The nuggets are there… but they have to be dug up. And when you do—it is truly rewarding — to see a truth clearly — or in a new light — or applied to a new set of circumstances — is truly rewarding.

c. Dig in—and you too will be rewarded with such golden nuggets.

d. Prov. 2:1-5 – these nuggets are found when we till the land with the kind of diligence that those seeking earthly treasures exert.

e. It is good to be fed in church or Sunday school. It is far better to learn to feed yourself. I wouldn’t want to eat just once or twice a week! Would you?

3. Eph. 4:28 – The hard worker will be satisfied because he has earned enough to GIVE to others in need.

a. It is MORE blessed to give. That is true satisfaction!

b. Nobody likes to beg. That feels awful. But it feels good—because it IS good to give… more blessed.

c. That is part of the satisfaction of hard work… having to give…

d. The man who is truly satisfied is the man who is both hard working and generous!

4. Col. 3:22-23 – service at work should not just be “eyeservice”… but diligence even when no one is looking! Our jobs are to be done “heartily!” (from the soul!)

a. vs. 24 – satisfaction comes from knowing that we have a reward in heaven for diligence on earth.

b. Even if we are mistreated at our job—we work hard and are not recognized—God sees all… and rewards hard work with a proper attitude.

5. Prov. 6:6-8 – Solomon tells his readers to consider the ant. The ant takes care of business through hard work… and it pays off! Nobody has to TELL her to do her work. She just does it… and is rewarded for it! Satisfied… when the lazy bugs are going hungry!

6. Whatever we do in life—if we work hard at it and do our best, there is a sense of satisfaction that comes from the end result. That’s Solomon’s point.

a. It doesn’t have to be in a farm setting—any setting.

b. We will experience much greater satisfaction from this new building because we WORKED hard on it—much more satisfaction that if we hired someone else to do the work.

c. This is God’s CURE for depression…
• Depressed people are usually lazy… and depressed because of the results of laziness.
• But hard working people don’t have time to sit around feeling sorry for themselves. They are busy working… building… producing fruit—and enjoying the satisfaction that comes from a bumper crop… and then enjoying the additional satisfaction of GIVING some away to those in need.
• That person is going to be quite satisfied.
• The lazy person is depressed… because there is fungus growing in her refrigerator… or because his house needs painting, the wall is falling down, the barn needs a new roof, and as he sits in front of the TV thinking about all the work that needs doing—he’s depressed!

d. God invented work—for Adam in the Garden of Eden before the fall. God designed it such that man receives great satisfaction from the fruit of his labor.
• That labor is much more difficult … but the satisfaction from a job well done remains… as our reward.
• Ecc. 2:24-25 – There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.
• This truth holds in any setting—your job; your home; your school; your church ministry; your life!

11c But he that followeth vain persons…

1. Persons is added by the translators. It does not appear in the original.

a. It makes good sense if left out…Hence—he that followeth vain things… or vanity…

b. Or as the King James Version – following vain persons… who are following vain pursuits. The meaning is the same.

2. The believer is not to follow vanity… emptiness… pursuits that have no value in light of eternity.

a. Seeking to do your best at your job is NOT vanity… that is a good pursuit.

b. But there are LOTS of other pursuits in life that are vain…

c. Anything that takes away from our spiritual lives is vanity…
• Golfing that causes you to miss out on the worship on the Lord’s day is a vain pursuit…
• A woman who abandons her young toddlers in order to pursue her career = a vain pursuit.
• Playing video games when you should be doing your homework is a vain pursuit…
• Working out at the gym every morning at the expense of reading God’s Word is a vain pursuit.
• Sitting around watching the grass grow when you have a lot of work to do is a vain pursuit.
• Young people—getting involved with a group of kids that do nothing but hang around the mall and get into trouble is a vain pursuit.

11d Is void of understanding.

1. The man who wastes time on vain pursuits and projects ends up wasting his time… and over time, that trait develops into a wasted LIFE!

2. This man’s behavior demonstrates his lack of wisdom and understanding.

3. The man who is void of understanding is the same man who lacks diligence and follows vain pursuits.

4. It is the LAZY man who is void of understanding (Prov. 24:30-31)