Book of Proverbs: 31 verses from 31 chapters in 31 days – the liberal soul (11:25)

Day 11: The liberal soul (11:25)

The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (KJV) or in other words: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” (ESV) or “A generous person will be prosperous, and one who gives others plenty of water will himself be given plenty” (NASB) or “Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself” (Living Bible). “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped” (The Message).

Selecting a text of the day from many wonderful texts is a nigh impossible task. We are confronted with right on target truths e.g.: the importance of maintaining a fair balance (1:2), pride coming before a fall (1:3) why we shouldn’t trust in riches (1:4) and we can go on with the gems found in the following 27 verses. The importance of righteousness, which we identified in the previous chapter, continues to be referred to (mentioned 12 times in chapter 11). It delivers from death (1:4); it keeps us in the straight way (1:5) and it delivers the upright (1:6).

As we reflect on today’s text, we are hit wonderfully hard with the importance of having a generous spirit, which desire is to give and not to withhold. Human nature being the way it is, we can easily be generous to some and not others or choose the time or circumstances in which we can show generosity or liberality or simply bless others. But the truly liberal man is not constrained and will use whatever opportunity he has to be a blessing to other people and, come to think of it, it might be something we should all consider in our dealings with people, even those we may feel not obligated to or naturally drawn toward. While our acting in this way should be its own reward, we receive an additional reward promised here: “he that watereth shall be watered also himself”. If there is a moral, it is we can do so knowing that we cannot outgive or out bless God. Interesting are the verses before our text, indicating this attitude of liberality is a culmination of righteous living: “The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath. There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty” (11:23,24), as well as the verse to follow, which reminds us of what happens if our attitude in not generous: “He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it” (11:26).  We end reminded again of the stark choice: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner” (11:30,31).

Prayer: May we be generous people who live our lives such that we can be a blessing to other people. We thank you Lord you bless the liberal soul.

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