I was in my early twenties when an unassuming farmer mused to me, “There are people earning $15,000 per year and getting by, and there are people making $100,000 per year and going bankrupt. It all comes down to living within your means.” I’d always been inclined to save, but this kernel of common sense bolstered my resolve to think and act long-term.
Though tending crops and herds was not within Solomon’s kingly duties, he offered this sage advice in down-home terms an agrarian people could understand. “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,” he wrote, “give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.” In other words, plan, watch, and make fully-aware decisions. Act in the moment with the end in mind.
I am now a stone’s throw away from sixty; decades of “sowing and reaping” have come and gone. Some years have yielded only financial famine, when living paycheck-to-paycheck was its own modest victory. There have been periods of pestilence, when even the savings in the silos were devoured by swarms of unforeseen expenses. Then there have been the storehouse seasons, when harvest was healthy and savings replenished.
Much lies outside our control—storms stir and insects invade, weather withers and droughts destroy. But be it through the king in his splendor or a farmer in his field, God speaks wisdom to see us through scarcity and to bless us in bounty. Says Solomon, “There will be enough.”
Father in Heaven, inspire my mind to know your ways, and strengthen my spirit to live in them. I ask this in the name of Jesus, your Son, my Savior and Lord. Amen.
[Click here to read more common sense from Solomon in Proverbs 27:23-27.]