The Worker’s Appetite
Proverbs 16:26 (ESV) -- A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on.
I love the book of Proverbs. They are wise axioms for living life and prospering. The reason for that is because God made the world to function and operate a certain way. If your life is living against the grain of that order, you’ll struggle. If you live in alignment with God’s structure, you’ll prosper. Proverbs are wisdom for living prosperous in God’s world. It addresses everything from relationships, sexual behavior, financial management, and more.
Our passage today addresses work and labor. The proverb writer says, “A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on.” What does this mean? It means that the fact that we have needs is a good thing. Your mortgage, hungry kids, and soccer fees are a good thing. Why? Because they drive you to work. And consistent work and diligence bring prosperity.
The writer emphasizes that our appetite works for us. The drive to meet our needs keeps us from sleeping all day and skipping work. Now, don’t get me wrong, some people do that. And they do not prosper. The proverbs call this person the sluggard. Their decisions are foolish and harm them and others. But most people are driven to labor because they have needs. Those needs are serving them.
Work is not a result of a sinful world. Mankind labored in the garden of Eden before they sinned against God. The result of sin is more strained labor, but labor was always a part of mankind’s mandate.
The LORD made us to take dominion of the earth. We are to work and cultivate the earth, create goods, and provide services. This is in alignment with how we are designed. Enjoy your labor today!
Yes, enjoy your labor today even if it is not the ultimate thing you would prefer to do. Working brings prosperity and allows for you to care for your and others' needs. Let your hungry belly urge you on.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is work good for us?
- What are examples in your life that motivate you to work?
- How does this passage and devotion help you to think about the nature of work?
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