What’s in your diet – knowledge or trash? ∙
A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. – Proverbs 15:14
9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue godliness.
10 Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined; whoever hates correction will die.
11 Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the LORD. How much more does he know the human heart!
12 Mockers hate to be corrected, so they stay away from the wise.
14 A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.
15 For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
16 Better to have little, with fear for the LORD, Than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
17 A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
Early in the history of agriculture, sheep, goats, and cattle were domesticated by nomadic peoples.
Besides being an obvious of food and clothing, etc., what motivated the domestication of animals? Early humans were the first ecologists. Most available land could not support growing crops. But it was suitable for grazing domesticated animals. Thus it was all about the intelligent use of available land. Livestock grazing provides food and other valuable resources. The same is true today. It is estimated that 85% of grazing land in the United States is not suitable for growing and sustaining crops.
When applied to domesticated animals, grazing is a feeding strategy that allows the animals to roam freely and eat basically whatever they want. Throughout the day the animals eat small amounts of food here and there. It is by its very nature haphazard and unplanned. The animals simply follow their noses.
Modern people with an abundance of food and time on their hands have also developed grazing for food habits. Some might call it snacking. Americans simply love to snack. Being homebound and sheltering in place, increased the amount of grazing. As a result of the overconsumption of calories, many emerged larger than ever.
But people also graze spiritually. People simply roam about day after day chewing a little bit here and a little bit there on whatever spiritual nourishment, or the lack thereof is available. Sadly, spiritual nutrition is often lacking. Little is found in the way of solid food or meat. There is no particular strategy. Instead of seeking good “pasture” and nourishing spiritual food, people just simply roam about and nibble on whatever is readily available. They become spiritual junk food junkies. They feed on folly and often do not know it.
Proverbs 15:14 The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.
Some seek knowledge and wisdom, others feed on folly or trash. Both verbs are actually agricultural terms. A shepherd seeks good pastures for his flock, but fools feed on folly. “The most knowledgeable people never stop in their pursuit of knowledge. The mouths of fools chew vacantly on foolishness. ‘The wise grow wiser, the foolish more dense’” (MacDonald).
The Hebrew verb translated feed is raah. It normally refers only to animals such as goats and cows that eat fodder in the field. Grazing animals randomly roam about and haphazardly rummage, scrounge, and munch on grass or fodder. Grazing is not purposeful or selective and does not require serious thought or effort.
In the 21st century, the agricultural idiom of grazing has been superseded by digital grazing. Grazing has become smartphone gazing. Social media and digital resources have become our new sources of fodder. Once again, we follow our noses like sheep or cattle and consume great quantities of digital fodder. But spiritual nutrients are sorely lacking.
Do we put in time or effort to acquire nourishment from the word of God?
REFLECT & PRAY
“Man becomes what he thinks about all day long” (Ralph Waldo Emerson). Our souls and spirits are shaped by what we let in.
Father encourage me to rearrange my priorities and not spend my time randomly chewing whatever fodder I encounter.
Our physical bodies have natural requirements to sustain life. Among them are air, food, and water. What of our souls and spirits? What sustains and nourishes the human spirit? Fools have an appetite for folly. The wise and thoughtful hunger for knowledge.
Do you desire to live wisely and well? The book of Proverbs is filled with pithy reflections on the right priorities and skills for living. These pithy observations are written in Hebrew poetry. Often, they are written in pairs called couplets. These couplets rhyme not in sound but rather in thought.
One type of couplet is synonymous. Two lines state essentially the same thing. The second line uses different words or images. For example: Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined; whoever hates correction will die. – Proverbs 15:10
Another type of poetic couplet is antithetical. The second line contrasts with the first. For example, A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. – Proverbs 15:14
In this example, what thoughts are contrasted? The subjects are polar opposites: the wise, intelligent, or prudent versus the foolish, stupid, or dullard. The verbs are very dissimilar: thoughtful seeking versus haphazard feeding or grazing. The “food” consumed is totally antithetical: wisdom or knowledge versus foolishness or trash.
The wise seek knowledge. They “want to learn” and “desire instruction.” What do fools crave? For what do they hunger? Rather than wisdom and knowledge, they gorge themselves on folly and trash.
This proverb is intentionally edgy and harsh. It is deliberately irritating and provocative. It is designed to cause us to pause and reflect.
How do we spend our time? What do we seek? What do we hunger for? What do we choose to chew on? Are we truly satisfied? Are our spirits nurtured?
Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Psalms 119:103 How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.
What a shame to settle for spiritual junk food, when a gourmet spiritual banquet is available for every child of the King.
How is your diet coming?