She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens. Proverbs 31:13-15
Solomon's mother is describing for hiim the excellent wife. She began with how the excellent wife is faithful and true to her husband. The second trait that she describes for him is how the excellent wife cares for her household. There are thre things mentioned in these verses. Let's take a look at them.
First we see that she looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. Just an observation that we should make initially is that this lady is not into watching soap operas and reality shows and eating bon-bons on the couch. She is a busy lady, as most wives are. She is looking for things to do. Here we see that she is searching for wool and flax - evidently to do some kind of handcrafted items for either her family, her employees, or paying customers. It is interesting to find, after reading an Enclyclopaedia Brittanica article on these two substances - that far more than just knitting or sewing is involved in gathering these two things. The wool is gathered from sheep - and is first strained in a manner of speaking to get the fatty substance from it. This is used for greasing things - and was also considered a beauty aid in how it softened skin. The flax was gathered from the field and was used for a number of different things. The fibers of the plant were used to help make linen - while the seeds and the crushing of the plant produced flaxseed oil - which was used as a health aid - especially with problems like constipation. The flaxsed oil was also considered a wonderful health aid for older people - as we now have learned that is lowers cholesterol and helps with blood flow in the body.
The excellent wife was not afraid to work with her hands on these things. In fact she considered it a delight to work with her hands. I remember my grandmother working with her hands almost constantly. She was able to knit or crochet, tat or sew and even talk to us while she was doing it. These are things we've pretty much lost in our generation - and it has hurt us. I fear that the majority of women in today's work are not delighted in working with their hands - and instead of having women who talk with their children and families, giving them wisdom and speaking of the things of God - we now gather around a television to listen to the converstaion of fools. Do you really want your kids growing up with the Kardashians, Snooki and JWow, and the Dance moms as their role models?
The excellent wife also enjoys cooking. She does not live out of a box - although that did not exist at that time. This lady goes out of her way to bring interesting and delicious foods to her family. Some southerners take this passage to mean that she grills out all the time (you know - she brings her food from a'far - from a fire - southern drawl removed). She looks for good food - and seeks out merchants who bring interesting and exotic foods that will make for exciting fare for the family.
The third thing we see is that this excellent wife has servants who work for her. But she is humble - not seeing herself so high above others as not to serve them as well. She brings portions even to her maidens as she rises early in the morning to cook for them as well as her family. I have to admit to nostalgia when reading this - because I cannot remember a time, other than when my mother was sick, that I did not wake up to the smell of something cooking for breakfast in the morning. I took it for granted - and yet - there was a solidity brought to me because I would sit with my mom and dad and eat breakfast with them. We'd talk - and when I was older (adolescence and high school) they would drag conversation out of me. It might shock you to learn that they did this even though I was a competitive swimmer for four years, waking up at 5:00 a.m. to get to an early morning practice. What was interesting is that even though the hour was early - my mom never complained about it. She just delighted in doing kind things for me.
Ladies - I've always marvelled at how you can give yourselves away for your husbands and children! The selflessness and hard work truly amazes me. The excellent wife is like this - delighting to work with her hands - to make even exotic and exciting meals - and to rise early to feed her household. The word that I guess describes all this is the compound word, "servant-hearted." What a blessing comes to a famiily when they have such a lady as the woman of the house. Her character is much like that of her Lord Who said that He did not some to be served either - but to serve and give His life for others. Ladies, when you live like this you bless your entire home - not just with hand-made items, food, and breakfast . . . but with the very spirit of Christ permeating your home.
When the grass disappears, the new growth is seen, And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, The lambs will be for your clothing, And the goats will bring the price of a field, And there will be goats' milk enough for your food, For the food of your household, And sustenance for your maidens. Proverbs 27:25-27
These last three verses of Proverbs 27 are additional commentary on verses 23-24. Thus they deal with keeping watch or being aware of your flocks and herds. These verses are practical commentary on that activity. They are also very helpful to us who desire to build and maintain a godly work ethic in ours or any other society.
The first statement here seems like common sense to us. It speaks of the fact of the seasons and how one who tills the ground needs to be aware of them. When the grasss disappears, then the new growth is seen. There will be a time each year when the grass of the field dies in the fall and winter. The farmer is also reminded that during this time the herbs of the mountains need to be gathered into the barns. Again, this may seem like something that does not need to be said. The reason it is said is because, due to the fall, men are undisciplined and lazy. There is only a brief window of time that this can be done - and if not done at this time - the farmer will lose yield. If left undone for a long period of time - he will lose everything to decay, mildew, and decomposition.
This has something to say to us. We may not have grass oriented crops like hay, wheat, or barley. We may not have herbs on the mountains that should be gathered and put away for use in the next year. We do have responsibilities that fall to us though. Many of these things need to be done promptly. How many have received a late notice on a bill because we did not pay it "in season." Will this keep us out of heaven? No it won't, but for many it will mean anywhere from 20-50 dollars of lost wealth because we did not act "in season" to get something done that requires diligence in a certain time line.
More is said to us in verses 26-27, this time about principles of building and using wealth. Note that we are told that the lambs will be for our clothing. There is a reason to do all that the farmer does. He does not just grow grass. He diversifies into raising livestock. He has lambs that are for clothing. He has goats he milks not just for his own family to drink, but to sell so that he can buy a field with the profit. There is the wisdom of provision for oneself, and for the continued growth of wealth and provision for a family and a growing number of people who are dependent on your growing enterprises. Mentioned here are one's own household as well as one's maidens. Thus a wise man knows that the current level of wealth and provision today needs to be expanded as he expands his family and his business. What does this require? Hard work - and an attention to detail - at least an attention to doing things as they need to be done.
What is the wisdom for us today then, in light of these verses? The first wise thing we are to learn is that opportunity for blessings comes and goes. If we are not alert to the seasons of God's working, we will miss the blessing being unaware or lazy. Within the framework of His seasons, we need to act and work hard. The second piece of wisdom offered is this, our work blesses us for today - and for the future. The lifestyle lived from paycheck to paycheck is not a wise way to live. We work in such a way to bless us with today's provision - and to make wise choices for expansion of that provision as God blesses. The wise man lives in the moment and is thankful for what God has given him. There can be a danger of having greed enter our minds so that we make Nabalish choices to be selfish and self-centered. The rich farmer who thought his riches were only for his current enjoyment and pleasure found his soul in hell because he was not living for eternity. This, though, does not justify us in being foolish in expanding what we do for the sake of added family provision. There will be children and grandchildren. There will be expanded business opportunity that will bless additional employees. There will be changes in the market - changes in society - and changes even in the weather and providence. We should be wise enough to learn how to read such things and make adequate provision for them as God guides us.
Being godly and wise does not mean throwing our brains away. We can acquire business acumen and wisdom concerning how to be more productive. We can build a business while trusting and relying upon the Lord. That is what is being said here. May God give us wisdom to look to Him day by day - and yet still be wise enough to provide for an expanded future of blessings all as we look to Him for the blessings of today's provision and tomorrow's expansion.
A sated man loathes honey, But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet. Proverbs 27:7
This proverb is about much more than just when a person likes and dislikes honey. It is about hunger - first physical hunger as the physical meaning suggests - but it is about much more than just physical hunger. It is about how we walk through life - about worldliness and about knowing and walking with God.
The physical picture painted for us is very clear. When a man is sated he loathes honey. To be sated means that you are stuffed. This is like when you have eaten too much at a meal and you are miserable. It wouldn't matter what someone offered you - you would not want any part of it. This is why the man loathes something as sweet and enjoyable as honey. He is too stuffed with food to enjoy anything. The opposite is also true though. A famished man considers any bitter thing sweet. The famished man is truly hungry. He has not eaten all day long - and as a result he is ready to eat anything. Even something which others might consider bitter is sweet to him. He will take it up and eat it grateful for anything to help him with his hunger.
Beyond the physical picture shown to us are great spiritual truths for us to glean. A man sated with the world will look at the Word of God and loathe it. He is filled up with the daintes of the world and as a result has little or no spiritual hunger. 1 John tells us that everything in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life comes not from the Father, but from the world. When we fill our hearts and souls with whatever our eyes desire, whatever our flesh demands, and with a heaping helping of boasting in this life - we will not have any desire for the Word, which is sweeter than the honey or the honey comb. The glories of God and what He has in store for us seem like nothing when we are glutted with worldliness and selfish pursuits. This is why it is so hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He is so filled with what "this world" has to offer - that often he has no room left for the things of God. We need to see the danger of feasting on the world, the flesh, and the fast food of the devil. When we do - we will despise and loathe the things of our Lord.
Then there is the famished man. The man who knows that the things of this world and this life are temporary. They are fleeting pleasures - what the Bible calls lying desires. They lie to us because they constantly promise fulfillment - but in the end they do not satisfy. They don't provide contentment - they do just the opposite. They eye is never filled with seeing - the flesh is never satisfied with food - and when we set our sights on wealth and riches, they take flight and soar to the heavens, always just a little beyond our ever grasping hands. Knowing these things - he seeks God for his "daily" bread - and asks not for riches. He knows that often the man with them forgets his God. Thus he wants something more. He has heard of this One Whose Spirit within is like a spring that rises up to heaven and salvation itself. He has heard of One Whose bread of life actually fills. He seeks the One Who offers rivers of living water - not a river outside of himself - but one that God puts within that overflows out of him to bless others. He is a famished man when it comes to worldliness and sin. He is a famished man when it comes to the religion of the eyes and flesh. He knows that boasting in this life provides him nothing in the end. Therefore he hungers and thirsts after God. He has heard from One that blessed is he that hungers and thirsts for righteousness, for he will be satisfied.
This hunger makes it to where any bitter thing is sweet to him. Where the worldling is constantly receiving but is never satisfied, this one receives everything from the hand of God - good and bad - and it all works together for good in his heart and life. Whereas the worldling ever complains that it is just not enough - the spiritually hungry one has eaten of contentment itself in the presence of God. Having his spirit filled to overflowing - he knows that all that God allows in his life (whether sweet or bitter) is working on his behalf. He even knows that the light and momentary discomforts, disappointments, disconcerting events - are working toward an eternal weight of glory that cannot be ascertained. God is at work in this famished man's heart - thus any way that God's providence and sovereignty designs his circumstances are going to be satisfying for eternity.
When you look at this proverb - and the truth that it represents - you come away with the paradox of God's work in this world. The filled go away hungry - while the hungry are deeply satisfied. The difference between seeking this world - and the world to come - is the difference between knowing contentment and fulfillment in hunger - or just walking through life empty even though you are sated with the world and all it offers. Truly, blessed are the poor and destitute in spirit - for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is weary of bringing it to his mouth again. Proverbs 26:15
We again come to our four day trek through the characteristics (and lack of any character at all) of the sluggard. Today we look at how he is given not just to laziness - but also to the sin of gluttony. Let's take a look at him again today and see what we can learn.
The picture we have here is pretty descriptive. We see the sluggard reclining at the table with his hand left sitting in a dish of food before him. He is so lazy and overfed that he either cannot pull his hand from the dish of food - or - doesn't want to. Here is a lethal combination of both gluttony and laziness. The grotesque picture of a grown man who is so sated with food that he cannot even muster the strength to pull his hand out of a dish or bowl of rice or noodles. He just leaves it there soaking in what he was eating just moments ago. Yet this is what gluttony does to a society - it makes it lazy and unmotivated.
I spent a little time reading on the internet about obesity and inactivity. It is both fascinating and alarming to read what is happening in our nation. One study done by the Get America Fit Foundation showed that since 1991 the problem of obesity has grown from about 10% of the population to 20-25% of the population by the year 2003. What is fascinating is that the rates of those in a completely sedentary lifestyle have risen to similar rates. Along with these two numbers rising - the number of very dangerous diseases that are killing larger numbers of people have risen sharply as well. A lifestyle given to gluttony (which we've renamed obesity) and laziness is dangerous for us. It is at epidemic rates throughout our nation. I know it will probably be offensive to many (and I am presently overweight) but we are fast becoming a nation of people who are like this sluggard in the proverbs.
I am not advocating that we all become health and fitness freaks - who spend every moment of our day obsessing over our weight and our looks - but - we need to be wise and grasp the spiritual implications of being a people who are losing the battle as a society to gluttony and laziness. This problem is a spiritual one - not just a disease - or some kind of gene we've inherited from our parents. Wise men and women will realize this and will take the necessary steps to dealing with what is essentially a sin problem. It would be so helpful to our society to once again that words like sluggard and glutton are still applicable and helpful to us becoming a better individual - and a better culture.
It is not good to eat much honey, Nor is it glory to search out one's own glory.
Humans are a proud lot. Therefore it is not a profitable thing to "search out one's own glory." Such a pursuit will only result in excessive pride and arrogance. Since God resists the proud, it is unwise to embrace something that God hates. Today's proverb gives us some very wise counsel on this subject. Let's take a closer look at it - and - at some examples we can learn from so that we don't fall into this sin.
Eating too much honey can make you very sick. Honey is great for you - but in excess it can cause bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. This is an interesting truth - because if you applied it to what Solomon is saying to us we learn the following. Too much thought about your own glory will cause you to bloat spiritually - and can make you sick in your spirit.
We are warned that it is not glory to search out one's own glory. What does this mean, "to search out one's own glory?" When we speak of glory - we are talking about seeing ourselves as glorious - or our own works as worthy of glory. The truth is that we don't deserve ANY glory whatsoever. Scripture tells us that our condition is not glorious. "All have sinned and fallen short of true glory - the glory of God." (from Romans 3:23) The absolute truth is this - God alone deserves glory. Any glory we ever receive - is only reflective of the glory that God deserves for Who He is and what He has done.
Searching out "one's own glory" is synonymous with being prideful. Paul said in Galatians 6:4, "But may it never be that I would glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." There is no reason to glory in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ. Paul also wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that we are to eat, drink, and do all that we do to the glory of God. Therefore to glory in searching out our own glory is not just unwise - it is the ultimate foolish pursuit. We will get sick to our spirits - we will find a bloated ego - and we will disgust God, Who alone deserves glory.
Glorying in searching out one's own glory is about as profitable to us as having a unicorn round up. Unicorns don't exist, therefore such a search is fruitless and stupid. But then again so is searching for how much we shold be glorified. Our time would be better spent glorifying the only One who deserves to be glorified - our Lord Jesus Christ! May our days be spent therefore searching out new ways to bring glory to Him and to His wonderful name.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, But
will not even bring it back to his mouth. Proverbs 19:24
Here we have one incredibly lazy man. In fact this man's laziness is so bad it is almost comical to picture it. Here is a man who has buried his hand in the dish of food that is set before him. The picture is not of someone who is picking at the top of the food on his plate. This guy has buried his hand into the dish of food, probably covering his entire hand with it. It is as if his appetite has led him to grab all that he can. So we do see initially a selfish attitude - and one who has a huge appetite for what is set before him. But there is a disconnect with this man - because although he can bury his hand in it - there will be little or no real satisfaction from it.
The sluggard has a great appetite - and great desire for things - but he has no ability to bring those desires to pass. He buries his hand in the dish - but he won't work hard enough to even bring it up to his mouth. Again this picture is comical to us. Here is a man with his hand buried deep in the dish. He has grabbed all the food he can handle. The problem is that he is so lazy he won't lift his hand up to his mouth to eat it. This seems so comical that it is a farce to us. Who is so lazy that he won't even lift his food to his mouth to eat. Honestly - there is really no one who would do this at the supper table - but the farcial picture painted for us speaks beyond the supper table. It speaks to spiritual realities - and to the problem that exists with the sluggard.
The sluggard is lazy - that is his problem. The picture before us is one of a man who has great desire - but no discipline to bring it to pass. He has a voracious appetite - but he won't work to see it move from desire to decision to completion. The burying of his hand in the dish speaks of the lazy man's desires. He speaks of wanting things - and speaks of desiring to accomplish great things. He lacks no vision for what he wants - because for many a lazy man - they want the whole world. They do this because they have all the time in the world to develop such fanciful dreams of what could be. The problem is though they can bury their hand in the dish of desire and dreams - they never work to bring their hand up to their mouth and actually fulfill those desires. Here is the crux of this proverb. The lazy man won't work to fulfill his dreams and his desires. He won't apply himself to the tasks that have to be done to accomplish what he wants. Oh the dreams will be huge - but the actual accomplishment of them will be miniscule. His planning box will be full, but the completion box will be empty. We see this every day - in a myriad of men who just won't work - who won't be disciplined to do what is necessary to succeed in their plans.
Those who have just read this might be thinking, "Well why didn't God just say that the lazy man has plans, but he won't work to see them happen?" Because that would not catch our attention. If someone says that - people will ignore him - especially those who are lazy and undisciplined. The sluggard won't even pay attention to that statement. The genius therefore of the Scriptures is that they paint us a picture that catches our attention. To see a sluggard dreaming the hours away without working is . . . well, it's kind of boring. But to see a hungry man with his hand buried in a dish of food. To see that man leave it there, unwilling to even bring it up to his mouth so he can eat . . . well, that's wierd! That catches our attention - and makes us think. The sheer ridiculousness of it catches our eye - and makes us look longer - look deeper. It is in that moment that we work to unlock a proverb that will speak volumes to us. In that moment we will see deeply and learn like we have never learned before. We might even learn that our laziness and sluggardly behavior looks almost as ridiculous as that guy sitting there with his hand buried in a plate of food.
Better is a dish of vegetables where love is than a fattened ox served
with hatred. Proverbs 15:17
Some might think that this particular proverb is reason to preach vegetarianism - but the point of this proverb is the spirit in which you partake of your meals. The dish of vegetables is actually seen as far less sumptuous fare than the fattened ox. The difference here is what is going on while you are sharing your meal with others. The vegetables, though not nearly as fancy as the fattened ox, are better because they are seasoned with love. As a pastor I've had the joy of sharing meals with families. Some of the most precious meals I've enjoyed in my 22 years as a pastor have been shared with some of the poorest of people. The meals, though simple, were liberally seasoned with love and precious fellowship. It was such a blessing to sit at such a table.
The proverb compares the simple fare of a dish of vegetables with the food of a rich man's feast. To have a fattened ox was about as special as it could get in Israel. If you remember, the father of the prodigal son ordered that the fattened calf be served when his son came home. It was a time of glorious celebration - and only the best was to be served. But what this proverb tells us is that this fattened ox was seasoned with hatred. Though a wonderful meal of food was served - it was served by someone who hated their guests. There are those who practice a strange hospitality indeed. They have guests - but only to get what they can from them. They invite their guests to their high-class affairs to put them in their debt - so that at a later date they can collect what they are owed. The worst of these parties are the ones that are done for people they absolutely despise - but they do it anyway because then everyone there will owe them favors. This is a meal destined for relational indigestion. The food may taste good - but it will only sour in their stomach as the problem of having to deal with their host comes to the surface. There is no love - only hatred and a desire to be owed.
So our writer warns us that in such situations it is better to go for the vegetables than for the most expensive item on the menu. This is not for reasons of frugality. It is a warning against false hospitality and the expectations that come with it. It is a warning to partake of true fellowship - even if it is over celery and water. In the end, fellowship with love will always trump hatred and fine dining. One may fill your stomach - but the other fills your soul.
Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and
you will be satisfied with food. Proverbs 20:13
There are several ways that the Bible refers to laziness. Some are very pointed like when God speaks of the sluggard or the lazy man. This one however speaks of someone who loves their sleep - too much. As a result of this love of sleeping - they wind up lazy, poor, and possibly hungry.
Do not love sleep. That is the command that is given here. It is not a sin to sleep - God even promises in the psalms that He will give sleep to His beloved. There is a difference between enjoying a good night's sleep and just loving to sleep whenever we can. One is necessary while the other is a sure sign of laziness. You cannot love sleep and love God at the same time.
Two different times the concept of oversleeping or loving sleep is used to rebuke the laziness of the sluggard. Proverbs 6:9
tells the sluggard to get up from his sleep. Proverbs 6:10
and 24:33 both say that a little sleep, slumber, and excess rest and poverty and problems will come in like a robber and an armed man. Loving to sleep is a dangerous thing to embrace. God desires for us to be good, motivated workers. When we do not embrace work - we will most likely embrace sleeping and laziness.
The other warning here is that when we become lazy - we will also be in danger of becoming poor - even the point of not having food to eat. Poverty is often the reward for the lazy - as is hunger. That is why a welfare system that does not require work of some kind for the benefits received is a blight on the work ethic of any country. If there are benefits - they must be tied to some kind of work. When we do not do this we are promising a lifestyle to those who receive it that does not require them to work. They can love their sleep - and be paid for it. They can be idle - and still receive money and benefits. This will build an entire class of society that will begin to expect something for nothing. That will be devastating to that societies ability to produce things and profit from them. It will also be a tremendous drain on the character of the society as well.
God's answer to this is the call us to wake up and work. He calls us to wake up and work hard. He wants us to labor with our hands - not just to provide for the needs of our families and ourselves - but Scripture also says that our hard work is to be so that we can also have something to share with the ones who are in need. But the Word also states that in the times when we have abundance - it is to help meet the needs of others - but it also says there will be other times when the abundance of others will be given to provide for our needs. God's point here is that hard work is not an option - but a necessity for a society. Without it we will become lazy and undisciplined. Without hard work we will lack character and will most likely get in trouble with the abundance of free time we have. Why be poor and hungry - both physically and spiritually? Wake up - and work hard for your food, for your health, and for your character.
Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or
with gluttonous eaters of meat; Proverbs 23:20Yesterday we looked at how a father can aim straight for the heart when warning his son against lifestyles that will cause him to be self-destructive. Today, we will look at how he warns his son.
The father makes it clear that those who drink wine heavily - and those who eat gluttonously, aree going to face some difficult times later in life. There are those who drink heavily. They consume a lot of beer, wine, or hard liquor. We are warned not to be among these people. Heavy drinking will eventually lead to alcoholism - which is a stronghold of sin that is very difficult to break. Over the years I've been a pastor
, I've worked with several men who suffered from a stronghold of alcoholism. They were drunks who drank until it became a very self-destructive habit. It was heart-breaking to see some of them struggle for years with this sin. Jesus is able to deliver us from anything - any habit - any addictive behavior. But we would be far better off if we never needed HIs deliverance from such things. That is why we should be warning our sons and daughters against drinking heavily. But the father also is warning his child against being a glutton as well. Here is a sin that is seldom if ever addressed - especially if there is a potluck after church that day.
Gluttony is a sin. That is clear from reading the Word of God. Just as a person can become addicted to alcohol - he can also become addicted to food as well. If you don't mind me being a little open here - this is a sin with which I struggle personally. I tend to eat too much - and at times I've been accused to being addicted to cookies (chocolate chip in particular) - but I can stop eating them whenever I want. All joking aside, overcoming gluttony has been a battle for me. As I've fought it - winning sometimes and losing others - I've seen where food has been an idol in my life. I will run to it to comfort me - instead of running to God. The excess in eating - also lends itself to excess in other areas as well. This is a sin we should warn our children about falling into in life. If it is not overcome - it will lead to very serious consequences. The reason that we do not see them - is because they are consequences that come over a much longer period of time. Yet they are coming to the glutton - just as the consequences of drunkenness and alcoholism are coming to the heavy drinker as well.
We are wise when we see these sins of heavy drinking and gluttony and warn our children against them. We need to warn them that there are very serious problems that develop because of them. If they continue in them - they can even become life-threatening. Tomorrow, we will take a look at the consequences of these choices - and - we will see how the wise father seeks to warn his children of them - while seeking to reach their hearts.
He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to the poor. Proverbs 22:9
Who would have thought that being wise involved the character trait of generosity and how we react to the poor? Yet that is exactly what we are dealing with today with the proverb of the day.
The one who is generous will be blessed. The idea for generosity here is one that comes from the Hebraism. The actual phrase is that this one has a good eye. In Hebrew, to have a good eye is to be someone who is kind and generous. It meant that you looked with kindness on others. It was the picture of a man who was good, gracious, kind, and generous. A man with a bad eye would be one who is stingy and selfish. He would be seen as an evil, ungodly man.
Jesus used these same Hebraisms when He said, "The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness." (Luke 11:34-35, NASB) In the same way Jesus was stating that if our eye is selfish and stingy - if we are tight-fisted and unwilling to give to others - it will yield a darkness in us. We will be selfish, ungrateful, and unkind men. But if our eye is good - it shows that we are gracious and kind as well.
The man here with the good eye - he is generous and blessed. This is seen by the fact that he gives some of his food to the poor. This gracious and good man is concerned about those less fortunate than himself. Thus he takes his own food and gives some of it to the one poorer than himself - to bless them. This is something that is commended from Old to New Testaments.
As early as Exodus and Deuteronomy God told Israel not to forget the poor. In Deuteronomy 15:7
we read the following admonition by God - that sounds like a rewriting of this proverb. "If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in
whatever he lacks." But there are not only commands to remember the poor, but also promises of blessing to those who do. Proverbs 19:17
reminds us that those who are gracious to the poor lend to the Lord - and God promises to reward those who do so for their good deeds. We even find in the New Testament at the Jerusalem Council that Paul is urged to remember the poor - which he states is the very thing he wanted to do.
God wants so show His own gracious hand through how He leads His own people to be generous as well. That is why we want to be gracious and kind towards the poor. It is absolutely our duty - but it is also an important way that the world around us can see the character and love of our God as He works through us.