Beside the Well
Proverbs is one of my favorite books. I love the way things are contrasted in black and white. There is good. There is evil. There is right. There is wrong. It gives such insight into human nature and challenges me to look at my own motivations and choices.
While reading Matthew 25 I noticed three principles being taught by our Lord using parables that lined up with truths taught in Proverbs.
Here is the good and right side.
In verses 1-13 Christ tells the Parable of the Ten Virgins. This teaches me I am responsible for my choices. I am to keep myself ready to meet the Lord. Proverbs uses the example of the ant that prepares for the winter to teach me a similar truth (Proverbs 6:6-11). Proverbs 22:3 says the prudent sees what is ahead and prepares himself.
Verses 14-30 give us the Parable of the Talents. Here I learn to be wise in my investments whether with life or funds. Proverbs 13:16 states that a prudent man will deal with knowledge in his affairs. And Proverbs 27:23-24 instructs me to take good care of the things that have been given me.
Finally, verses 31-46 tell the Parable of the Sheep and Goats. This teaches me there is reward for those who are compassionate and giving. Proverbs 11:17 says being merciful holds benefits for the giver.
On the flip side—the wrong and/or evil.
The unprepared virgins believed others should care for them. They did not take their personal responsibility seriously. They were not prepared when the Lord called. Proverbs 22:3 says the foolish are not prepared and so will suffer.
The man with one talent lacked vision and motivation. He took no notice of the example of others. Matter of fact, he openly admitted he acted in fear and was proud of the fact he still had the one talent. Proverbs 27:14 says, “…but a fool layeth open his folly.” Meaning: a foolish man brags about his unwise ventures.
The parable of the sheep and goats reveals the goats as selfish and ungiving. They cared about no one but themselves. They were punished. Proverbs 11: 17 finishes with, “…he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.” The stingy hurt themselves.
So, according to God’s word, prepared, productive and caring people will be rewarded. Unprepared, unfocused and selfish people will be punished. Such is God’s economy from the time of Solomon to today.