“Paying one’s dues” and doing things in a proper, systematic order is the subject of Proverbs 24:27. The setting for illustrating the parable is a rural, working farm; however, I am also inclined to believe the context is not only constructing a house, but also taking a wife and beginning a home.
Proverbs 24:27 – “Prepare [establish; fix; set in order; establish; make ready] thy work [workmanship; labor; business] without [abroad; outside; i.e. in the street or highway], and make it fit [ready; prepared] for thyself in the field [land; country]; and afterwards build [set up; construct; repair] thine house [household; family; home; residence].”
In a lesson on discipleship (Luke 14:28), Jesus challenged His followers to compare the discipline of a man who counts the cost before commencing a construction project with the life-changing decision of leaving all to be His disciple. It is that same principle of preparation and due diligence Solomon taught his son in Proverbs 27:24.
In a brief explanation: Plan and prepare before you build a house, take a wife and establish a family. “Prepare thy work” [pursue your career and means to support a household]; “make it fit” [do your diligence to make adequate provision]; “afterwards build thine house” [then take a wife, set up your home and begin a family].
Although a simple, common sense principle, Proverbs 24:27 is often overlooked in our day of “fast foods” and immediate gratification. I know few, who have the discipline and self-denial to set their personal and financial lives in order, establish a career, make a well-thought plan and then begin a family. Too many rush into life-changing decisions without godly counsel, the maturity to bear the yoke of adulthood independent of their parents and having counted the cost. Solomon’s challenge is fulfilled in a well-worn adage: “Plan your work and work your plan.”
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith