Proverbs 11: The Needs of Others

I found an interesting little piece of information in Proverbs 11. I have to admit that it sounds a little bit odd off the top, but if we think about it a little bit, I think that it makes quite a bit of sense.

Pro 11:26  He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

I thought this sounded odd. Why are we spending valuable time in the most important book in the world talking about produce sales? I think that we need to step back and take a look at the situation that is being described here.

Obviously, there is a demand for corn. We don’t know why. Perhaps there is a famine in the land, or perhaps where some other reason, but it seems that people want corn.

There are generally two responses in this situation. On one hand, we can withhold anything that we have. Perhaps there is a famine, and we are thinking about ourselves and providing for our own needs. Perhaps we hide everything that we have so that we can guarantee our own survival for years.

On the other hand, we can sell the product that we have. We can give people the opportunity to get what they need. We can satisfy the demand by making what we have available. Sure, we might not be stockpiling as much for ourselves, but the people around us will also be able to get some of what they need.

I think our response to this ought to be pretty clear. If we have something in excess, perhaps we ought to think about those around us. Maybe we ought to think about how we can use what we have been blessed with to help other people rather than to build up a stockpile for our own potential future needs.

I am definitely not trying to urge anyone to go out and irresponsibly burn your entire life savings. I think that this is more about what we are attached to. Are we so concerned about our own stuff that we can’t even see beyond our own situation? Do we not realize that there are needs that we are able to meet in the world around us? Are there any ways that we can be especially charitable right now?

About Zak Schmoll

Zak Schmoll is the founder of Entering the Public Square, and Managing Editor of An Unexpected Journal. He earned his MA in Apologetics at Houston Baptist University and is currently a PhD student in Humanities at Faulkner University. His work has been featured on several websites including The Federalist, Public Discourse and the Fourth World Journal.

Posted on April 22, 2014, in Proverbs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I like your interpretation better than mine because you have interpreted a positive message for this proverb. You may enjoy my interpretation which unfortunately focuses more on the negative interpretation of this proverb..

    Regards and good will blogging.

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