“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1)
The Holy Spirit inquired of me if I could remember a day in recent history where I did not boast about tomorrow.
I think we get confused by what Solomon means here. Does it mean we should not prepare for the future? Of course not. Our old friend Matthew Henry sums it up for us simply and succinctly:
We know not a day may bring forth. This does not forbid preparing for tomorrow, but presuming upon tomorrow.
So what’s the difference between preparing and presuming? Let’s look at the latter first.
Presuming upon tomorrow is boasting about what you will do and how it’s all going to turn out. Why is this so bad? It’s all in the delivery!
“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” (James 3:5)
Oh to have back the multitude of foolish words I have spoken! Why do I say some of the things that I say? Because too often I play the fool believing I can predict the future. King Solomon knew a little something about that:
“As for that which is far off and exceedingly deep, who can find it out?” (Ecclesiastes 7:24)
While we all acknowledge that the future is unknown we go about our workaday world as though we can see the future. Solomon learned a little something about that too:
“So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:22)
We remember the parable Jesus taught of the man who thought he had all he needed in life and that his future was set:
“Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, “What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?” So he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’” But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” ‘So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’” (Luke 12:16-21)
Well Bro Dave that seems like good financial planning. It might seem that way but it is horrible spiritual preparation. Read the rest of Matthew Henry’s commentary on Proverbs 27:1:
We must not put off the great work of conversion, that one thing needful.
Pastor Henry is speaking of spiritual preparation, the most important investment you can make for the future. Perhaps that is too vague for you. How about an aiming point? Jesus left us the clearest target to set upon our eyes of future:
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)
Knowing that Jesus could return at any time should be all we need to know about the future to help us prepare for it.
What about you?
Are you planning for a future over which you have no control?
Do you boast about what tomorrow may bring or will bring?
Join the crowd!
What is needed is some steps we can take to spiritually prepare ourselves for the future. I feel led to look further into that.
We’ll begin that tomorrow…
If you’re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use “Please add to Devotional List” as the subject.
Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers