Book: Proverbs 24
“I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds and its walls were broken down.”
As a gardener, I know how important it is to keep one’s garden in top shape. Without sweat and the spending of energy, the weeds will quickly take over. Weeding is not a one time job but a continuous job. Back in Genesis 3 it says, “…the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made.” A gardener cannot afford to ignore their garden and not spend the time to keep it up. It might be easier to not work in the garden but in the end there is not the reward of produce either.
The term ‘walls broken down’ gives a hint that something that shouldn’t have been in the garden got in. It could be an animal that has found a weak spot in the fence and pushed it over or a branch from a tree that has fallen and broken the fence. In both cases, the vineyard has been put at risk because the fence was not quickly fixed.
Many things in life take work to maintain and grow. A marriage requires that spouses spend quality time together building each other up and working together if it is to be healthy and strong. There is a natural fence of commitment and faithfulness that needs to be strong. Allowing this fence to be damaged or broken without repairs will lead to the destruction of it.
Careers often require work. With the explosion of information available today, it is important that professional people stay updated and trained in the latest in their field. To be slack, and not keep learning will result in the weakening of one’s understanding and influence. Eventually, a person who has been lazy in their field may find themselves unemployed.
One’s spiritual life needs to be cared for as well. Spiritual disciplines such as studying and obeying God’s Word regularly, talking with the Lord daily, and being in a community of Kingdom people keeps the fence of the spiritual garden in good shape. Through God’s wisdom, the spiritual weeds can be identified and pulled out of the garden while strengthening the good plants. This is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. There is a reward for this and that is spiritual food such as blessing, peace and joy.
Take time with the Lord to see if in your life there are any areas where the garden fence needs to be fixed up and if there are any weeds that need to be pulled out.