And there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want.
The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered. (Proverbs 11:24-25)
In today’s economic climate, many people are clutching their money and resources tightly to their chest. Many charities and food banks are at the lowest levels they have experienced in decades. And if people continue to hold what they have in tight fists instead of giving, regardless of their financial status, they will not remain at their current status, but will slide further and further behind. In fact, they will ultimately end up in a state of “want.”
Look at the verse above: There is one who scatters yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want.
The scattering that this verse is talking about is the scattering of seed. So where does seed come from? A harvest. Our harvest–the financial resources that we’ve brought in by working, or that God has given to us in some other way. (It is all from the hand of God, incidentally.)
Did you ever stop to think about how every fruit, vegetable or grain is loaded with seeds for future harvests? Each apple does not contain only one seed, but many seeds. God is a God of multiplication, not division. So right here, within our “harvest”–the financial resources (or other resources) that we have available to us right now–are many seeds. If we hold onto those seeds, they will not be able to grow into other harvests. However, if we scatter some of them, we will create additional harvests for ourselves and others.
When we create additional harvests, there is always abundance. Enough for everyone. However, if we withhold what is “justly due,” it results only in want. The words “justly due” are derived from the Hebrew word “Yosher” and means, “uprightness, truth, duty, honesty…’a moral quality of the heart.'” If we live with Jesus in our heart, we know what is justly due to be scattered; what should be given from what we have.
This is an immutable law that God has put in place in the world. It is true with actual seeds from harvests, and it is true with financial seeds. If you are holding your financial resources close to your chest, afraid to let go in case there won’t be enough when you need it, you are actually holding hundreds of financial seeds from falling upon the earth and sprouting. And that might be why you’re having trouble financially. You haven’t done what any good farmer would do: scatter your seed for a plentiful harvest.
Think about it. If a farmer decided not to scatter his seed one year, just in case it would be a year of bad weather, how much harvest would he receive? Nothing. Zero. Nada. How much could he eat from those seeds still held in his hand?
But what if he did scatter his seed and a big hail storm came? What if the tender young seedlings had come up only to be pelted to the ground?
The wise farmer doesn’t plant all of his seed for one harvest. He holds back some for just such an event. And God doesn’t ask you to give everything you have, but to scatter what is “justly due.” God has given you more than enough seeds. And each seed–those you keep back for yourself and those you scatter–will produce a harvest. The multiplication possibilities of what you have in your bank account or your pantry at this very moment are huge.
So dig deep into your basket of financial seeds, and withdraw a handful. Look down at them and realize how many future seeds are encased in those within your hand. Then thank God for what He has given you, and how He will bless those seeds, and create harvest upon harvest. Then scatter them.
And don’t worry about the storms that may come. God is Lord of the harvest. He will bless the financial seeds you have, and those you’ve scattered. There is nothing He can’t do:
He changes a wilderness into a pool of water;
And a dry land into springs of water;
And there He makes the hungry to dwell,
So that they may establish an inhabited city,
And sow fields, and plant vineyards,
And gather a fruitful harvest (Psalm 107:35-37)