Proverbs 28:21 It is not good to show partiality — yet even a courageous person may sin for a piece of bread.
The Word of God has many mysteries and ironies to contemplate. The world also has its share of ironies to think about. One of the questions I have often asked God is about the irony found in the above proverb. Prov. 28:21b Yet even a courageous person may sin for a piece of bread. My part of the conversation with God normally goes like this. “Since a man may sin, transgress, or steal for a piece of bread, then why did you create him to need that piece of bread for earthly existence? This seems to be a catch twenty-two type of situation.” Of course, many answers could be debated as to why, but there it is, an irony to contemplate.
I heard someone say. “Here’s an irony for you. If God is in charge of everything, including your life, then why ask Him to change the circumstance that you are in?” A good question, if we were fatalists. However, Jesus asks us to be part of the answer that the world needs. The Lord admonishes us to pray and ask God to send His help to change circumstances. Matt. 9:38 Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.
Our Heavenly Father also invites us to come and reason with Him regardless of the deprivation we find ourselves in. Isa. 1:18 Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Relationship with God gives us a way or an invested interest in being part of God’s eternal plan. We were created in His image to exercise our creative ability to solve problems and contemplate the complexities, mysteries, and ironies of life.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been attending some big family reunions, birthday parties, and gatherings. Some of the ironies I’ve noticed and thought about are, “Why are alcoholics so thirsty? Why are gluttons so hungry? Why do toxic people try to bring everyone down to their level of patheticness?” I’m not pointing anyone out in particular, because I’m not their judge. These thoughts are only my observations of those who are acting out some destructive behaviours. Eccl. 1:14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun and have found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind. Besides, if you ask my family about me, they will point out a few things in my life that they wonder about. I’ve come to realize, I can’t change the people around me, but I can change the people who are around me, and therefore, simplify some of the ironic oddities that surround me.
To me, one of the ironies of life is that God has given us all we need to become the blessed of the Lord, and yet, that blessed gift is thrown back in His face with malice. People want to be freed, but don’t want freedom. These same people who reject God’s eternal offer, go on to live a life of destruction, then complain that their life is so unfair. Prov.23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? It’s like a prisoner complaining his incarceration for murder is limiting his liberties
It is true that with Christ a lot of problems can be conquered, overcome, and defeated. But we don’t live in a world where everyone accepts the authority of God for their lives. We live in a fallen world where murder, corruption, and harsh dictatorships are considered reasonable options. Just a way of doing business so to speak. The world’s business card reads – Mayhem R Us. Pslam 12:1 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
I have been contemplating a lot of things these past few weeks, and no matter how many theories or opinions people come up with for the woes of the world, it still comes down to this choice. Eccl. 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
So, I come back to my questions for God on the proverb. Prov. 28:21b Yet even a courageous person may sin for a piece of bread. I believe the answer for me is – even though I need bread to live, I also need to obey God who is the bread of life and has given me His life. Bread, in itself, may give us what we need for our daily existence, but God’s gift through Christ gives us our eternal life. That life gives us the power to choose God’s will and choose Him as our Lord and provider. Therefore, enhancing the reason for living beyond the existence of this world. I can live with that. Blessings to us all.