Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

17 August 2021

Proverbs 21:20

The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
    but fools gulp theirs down.

The wise person saves and exercises restraint. For that reason he accumulates an abundance. The fool consumes whatever he gets.

Compare this proverb with verse 17: “Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.” The seeming paradox is that the lover of riches and pleasure will be poor, while the wise person who understands restraint and proper value of fleeting pleasure will have more than he needs.

The consumer devours what he obtains. His motto is to enjoy the day at hand, to take now whatever is given. But he does not understand that he is not obtaining the full pleasure he desires. Restraint is not putting off pleasure to protect against an unknown future. Restraint is training the body and the mind to enjoy more fully an experience or object. Which wine lover truly enjoys the pleasure of wine – the drunkard or the one who lingers over one glass? Who really knows the pleasure of sexual intimacy – the person who goes from partner to partner seeking only a sensation or the person who has saved his or her body for a loving, lasting relationship with a spouse?

Wisdom is not about putting off pleasure. It is about nurturing pleasure, building it up to be a lasting experience. What is of real value is worth nurturing.

 

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.