A Worker’s Appetite (Notes on Proverbs)

My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs

The following is an excerpt from the book, My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs.

A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on” (16:26). When God created man, he gave him a natural indicator in his own body that would remind him of the need to eat to sustain his life – hunger. Solomon says this hunger motivates man to work hard so that he can sustain himself from the fruit of his labors. One of the reasons many become trapped in the rut of laziness is because they do not feel the motivation of hunger to urge them to work hard. When laziness is rewarded or subsidized, people will continue in laziness. When laziness causes one to be hungry, people will eventually learn that they must work so that they will be able to eat. Later in the book of Proverbs, Agur mentions three things which cause the earth to quake and four under which it “cannot bear up” (30:21). One of these is “a fool when he is satisfied with food” (30:22). When one refuses to work and suffers hunger because of it, he harms himself. When one refuses to work but is rewarded for his laziness with food and the necessities of life, society is harmed because of it.

You can read more comments on the book of Proverbs in My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Daily Notes & Observations: “A Worker’s Appetite” (Excerpt)

June 8

A Worker’s Appetite

Daily Notes & ObservationsA worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on” (Proverbs 16:26).

Hunger is the reminder that we need to eat in order to survive. That hunger motivates us to do something that God expects us to do — work. Those who have the ability to work must do so (2 Thessalonians 3:10), from the man who labors by the sweat of his face (Genesis 3:19) to the wife who is a worker at home (Titus 2:5).

Sadly though, our society is getting away from the Biblical model of personal responsibility. For many able bodied people, their hunger no longer motivates them to work hard in order to provide for themselves. Instead, their hunger makes them think they are entitled to receive the food they need (and much more) from someone else — parents, other family, friends, the government, etc.

Hunger is certainly something that is inherent in man. God designed us to get hungry. But this divinely-given mechanism that tells us we need food does not give us the right to expect that others will provide for us when we are unwilling to provide for ourselves. Paul wrote, “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

Instead, the wise man says, “A worker’s appetite works for him.” How does it work? It motivates him to work and provide for himself. This is God’s design.

When we are hungry and need food (or clothing, shelter, etc.), we ought to work to provide these things for ourselves as long as we are capable of working. When necessities are repeatedly given to able-bodied people, they become conditioned toward dependence and slothfulness, instead of what God expects — independence and hard work.


Daily Notes & Observations contains 365 articles like the one above – one article per day that will take you through the Bible in a year. Be prepared to start your study on January 1st – order your copy today!

Daily Notes & Observations: “During Plowing Time and Harvest You Shall Rest” (Excerpt)

February 10

“During Plowing Time and Harvest You Shall Rest”

Daily Notes & ObservationsThough the Sabbath law had already been given to the Israelites, the Lord provided further instructions regarding the application of the command:

You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest” (Exodus 34:21).

From the beginning, God has expected man to work hard (Genesis 3:19). The wise man gives this admonition: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Paul tells Christians: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23). So this instruction to the Israelites was not advocating slothfulness but that they strictly obey the commandment of God.

Man often wants to bend the rules, including the commandments of God. Excuses are made for sin based upon certain conditions that exist. The idea that many have is that God’s instructions can either be changed or disregarded altogether if the situation demands it.

The Israelites could have been tempted to use this same kind of “situation ethics.” During times of plowing and harvest, there is naturally more work of a pressing nature that needs to be done. They could have reasoned that the Sabbath law requiring rest did not apply to these seasons when there was so much work to do. This kind of reasoning would have been wrong.

When God gives a command, only He can give exceptions to it. It is not our place to decide that certain laws of God can be set aside when they interfere with our activities. We are to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

Rather than trying to fit God into our busy schedules, we must build our schedules around God and our obligations to serve Him.


Daily Notes & Observations contains 365 articles like the one above – one article per day that will take you through the Bible in a year. Be prepared to start your study on January 1st – order your copy today!

Rejoice and Do Good: Notes on Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (Excerpt)

Vanity of Vanities (cover)

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God.

While discussing the seasons of life and the futility of our pursuits under the sun, Solomon reminds us again of the fact that our blessings come from God (cf. 2:24). Understanding both the futility of life and the fact that what we have comes from God, it is good for us to do two things: enjoy the blessings which God has given and do good with those things with which we have been blessed. If we cannot see “good in all [our] labor” – by enjoying God’s blessings and helping others – then the futility of work under the sun will eventually result in depression and apathy, leading to a cessation of work. Nowhere does Solomon teach we should give up and do nothing. We must recognize the good and the limitations of the things of this life, while seeking for that which is eternal.

You can read more comments on the book of Ecclesiastes in Vanity of Vanties: Notes on Ecclesiastes. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!