Today's devotion from Proverbs 14.
Much of this chapter revolves around the home. As such, it speaks of what is required of the one who seeks to establish a strong and healthy family. I can't imagine that there is anyone who would not want a healthy home and environment for their family. While many pray for their homes and family, this proverb confirms a truth that we already know.
Making a happy home is hard work.
While this is encapsulated in several verses, the one that I would like to draw your attention to reads, "Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is empty, but an abundant harvest comes through the strength of an ox." (Proverbs 14:4, CSB) This verse communicates to us the necessity of investing ourselves and our efforts in the task of building our lives in the home.
The person who would prosper must pour themselves into the agricultural rigors of the day. They would have to work diligently, not only at the actual processes of cultivating a harvest, but also in the enormous investment in purchasing and caring for livestock, which could be a luxury not afforded to all.
Yes, it is hard work to make a happy home, but hard work is only part of it. It requires the blessing of God.
We cannot rest on either aspect alone. God blesses us with potential and provision, but we cannot assume that we can sit around without partnering with Him. Harvests will not plant or reap themselves. Yet, simultaneously, we must realize the blessing that is afforded us when we are given the opportunity to roll our sleeves up and join God in supplying provision. It is a blessing to have an ox.
For many of us, we may not feel the necessity of an ox, but we do need gainful employment, access to transportation, education, and the health to work. Yet, some of these are not available to everyone. Is this proof that God doesn't care for them? No. It simply means that God's means of provision for them is different. Some are give an ox. Others are given the gift of His people.
You were meant for more than climbing a corporate latter or filling your own cupboard. Look just a few verses later and you will read, "Fools mock at making reparation, but there is goodwill among the upright." (Proverbs 14:9, CSB) In short, among those who are blessed and stand upright before God, there will be a compassion that enables God to bless others through them.
Today, maybe you will find yourself in a situation where you must enjoy the tremendous blessing of joining in God's work of provision for your own household. It is also possible that you will be given the joy of helping provide for another. Remember, abundant harvest comes through the strength of an ox.