In the Gospel of Mark we read of a young rich man, most likely one enriched by inheritance, who approached Jesus asking the most important question a soul might ponder: “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17). The Lord, knowing the man’s pride and self-righteousness, at first challenged him with the Commandments (Mark 10:18-19). The rich youth’s response was predictable and he acknowledged no sin within himself. Christ, knowing the man’s affections were deeply rooted in his wealth and possessions, then challenged him to sacrifice that which he treasured most – “go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:21).
Why? Why sell all to follow Jesus? Because the rich man could never be a disciple of Christ as long as his love for wealth and possessions was greater than his love and devotion to God.
I share the discussion between Christ and the rich young ruler because it may strike a chord in the heart of someone who reads today’s proverb and is tempted to dismiss it without a thought or personal application. Let us consider the truth found in Proverbs 28:27.
Proverbs 28:27 – “He that giveth [deliver; assign; apportion] unto the poor [destitute; needy] shall not lack [want; need; be impoverished]: but he that hideth [conceals; veil from sight; blinds] his eyes [sight; face] shall have many [great; heavy; much] a curse.”
Herein is one of the great principles of the Scriptures – “Sowing and Reaping”. A farmer is motivated by the reality what he sows generally yields many times over what he planted. For instance, a kernel of wheat planted in the rich soil of the earth, promises to yield as much as 50 times over the seed that is planted.
As it is with the farmer, so it is for those who give of their substance to the poor. Give, give much to those in need and you will never lack! What a wonderful promise and application of the principle of Sowing and Reaping!
There is a warning in verse 27 you and I would be wise to heed—turn your eyes away from those in need and you will bear the sorrow of a man whose life and family is cursed! No wonder we see many who have fame and fortune, but whose lives are often scandalous and their families a portrait of misery. Their miserly souls bear the curse of one who has much, but whose lives are spiritually and morally bankrupt.
Whether rich or of modest means, I close with a promise we should all heed:
Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
P.S. My apology to those who follow these daily meditations from Proverbs. I was away from the office and computer this past week to enjoy a week with my wife of 38 years!
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith