Trusting God

Proverb 28: 25      Amplified

An arrogant and greedy man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will be blessed and prosper.

As we have learned, reading a verse from several translations often adds a deeper understanding of the message. This verse is actually a bit confusing when you do, but the Amplified version brings all the different readings together fairly well. Here is a link to several versions of this scripture.

Arrogance plays into this verse in two ways. First, people of pride and arrogance create tension and animosity within groups. They do not value the opinions or efforts of others. Thus, they create strife. Second, arrogant people look to themselves for answers; to their own thoughts and feelings rather than trusting the Lord for wisdom. Thus, because they lack Godly wisdom and push for answer arising from their own ambitions and ideas, they lead to greater strife and to failure.

Greedy people are self-serving and so serve their desires instead of the needs of the group, friends or family. In fact, greed can cause one to frustrate the purposes of others in favor of furthering their own lusts and ambitions. It is easy to see how this could create strife.

The Passion translation brings out another angle. It says that those who make hasty, rash decisions show their self-reliance. It is proof that one does not take the time to inquire of God, to seek His wisdom. Of course, this circles back around to arrogance. When we are quick to make a decision, we usually have not taken the time to ask our cohorts or our God for their wisdom and this shows how little we think of others’ opinions, even God’s. We have become the God of our lives and we are doomed to failure.

This verse applies to all facets of life, but I think it is particularly interesting when considering group dynamics and organizational efficiencies. No one likes a know-it-all and they cause tension within the group. Of course, surround yourself with humble hard-working people when it is within your power to do so, but if you have an arrogant or greedy person within your ranks, be sure to pray for them. Though they act arrogantly, their behaviors usually stem from a weak self-esteem. We all need prayer including the folks who are creating strife in your organization. Avoid the arrogant and greedy because their way leads to ruin and failure. Seek the Lord in all things and prosper.


Ezekiel 16: 49             CEB

This is the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were proud, had plenty to eat, and enjoyed peace and prosperity; but she didn’t help the poor and the needy.

You know what happened to Sodom, don’t you? The city was obliterated from the face of the earth. What was her crime? The Complete Jewish Bible tells us clearly, “The crimes of your sister S’dom were pride and gluttony; she and her daughters were careless and complacent, so that they did nothing to help the poor and needy.”

Did you know that pride was a sin? What about gluttony? Now that definitely hits below the belt. Sodom was prosperous. Her people had plenty and although they lacked for nothing, their hearts were hard, so that they did nothing to help the poor or the needy.

Does that really sound so different from our towns and cities today? How about the church? Are we, as the church, doing much to help the poor and needy? We can even reduce this analysis to the individual level and ask ourselves how well we are doing at helping others. The New American Standard Bible says that the people of Sodom were arrogant. They were so blessed in their prosperity and peace that they became arrogant. They began to think they were responsible for their wealth and expected other people to make their own way too.

It’s a funny thing. Sometimes when we have much, we become more greedy than those who have less. That is what happened to Sodom. They horded their wealth rather than helping to meet the needs of others.

It’s too late for Sodom but not for us. We have a chance to do something about our fate and that of those less fortunate than ourselves. At every level we can change our perspective and begin to give to others. Our churches can greatly impact their communities. We must change our consumer culture and become one of charity. With our tithes and offerings, even our local churches can have a great impact. Ask yourself, what you can do to effect change. We should all begin with prayer and with seeking God. We should trust Him to show us new paths and we can follow those paths to an entirely different way of living, one which does not only consume the blessing but instead spreads the blessing to those less fortunate. Let’s allow this to sink in and then let’s all find ways to initiate change.