The Lord satisfies the appetite of the righteous,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
Ever had a tapeworm? Me too. Just kidding.
In our culture, hunger is really something of the past. We’re only hungry when we’re trying to lose weight. And then, while it may be torture – it is a choice. We very rarely have hunger forced upon us. I know that there are some who do and there are places in our world where hunger is a real issue.
However, in the time of the writing of this proverb, hunger would have been a real concern for many. They didn’t have the preservation and refrigeration advances that we have today, so they were dependent on food that didn’t last for long. As a result of this, hunger was something that many people were very familiar with. They knew what it felt like to go to bed hungry, to wake up hungry and to have no hope of finding food.
Here though, appetite is not necessarily speaking of the physical kind of hunger. It has more to do with desire and our inner need for success. When we are living righteously like we talked about yesterday (righteousness is living according to the ways of wisdom), the Lord satisfies our appetite for success. Of course this could mean that when we are seeking success, the Lord will deliver it. However, I’m not sure that is the case. Instead, I think more of what the proverb is speaking of is that when we are living rightly we will walk as those who are filled. We will live as though we are loved. We won’t have this emptiness inside of us that drives us to seek things to fill the hole. We will be completely satisfied.
When we aren’t living rightly and instead are in the ranks of the wicked, we can expect just the opposite. Because this is such a vital need, when it is missing we’re always be looking for it. Is there a longing in your life that you have been unable to fill? Perhaps you need more of the Lord in your walk.
The one who is lazy becomes poor,
but the one who works diligently becomes wealthy.
Just as we in our culture are almost never hungry and can’t relate well to a culture that was, we also have a hard time understanding what diligent labor really looks like. There are some who do, but I have a feeling most of us would be among the ranks of those who complain when we have to mow our lawns.
Have you known someone who is diligent? I have. They live in a totally different way than the rest of us do. I remember getting to know some of them in college. You could just tell by their personality and work ethic that they were going to go far. Maybe not be extremely wealthy, but their chances of it were much greater than others. But for sure you would have to define them a successful.
Are you poor? Do you work hard? If you answer yes to both of those questions, the answer is much more complicated. If you answer each question differently, then you may know what you need to work on.
Perhaps we need to redefine what lazy is. Because of the progression of our culture, I think we use the term lazy only in the most extreme cases. However, many of us would be considered lazy by Proverbious standards.