First Things First

Reading the Word

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.(Proverbs 24:27, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

Preparation is important. We must always do things in the proper order if we are going to have success. One mistake that seems to be popular in our world today is people biting off more than they can chew. When I say this, I am speaking primarily of financial commitments, but it could be applied to areas of responsibility and other ways as well. The proverb teaches that we must first take care of our work, which is our source of income, before we can provide for our personal comfort.

So many today want all of the comforts of life before having the means to support those comforts. We want a big, fancy house, fine furniture, technological gadgets, and so many other things, but we do not want to wait until we can actually afford them. We do not want to wait to put in the necessary work and effort. Instead, many accumulate great debt that they cannot keep up with and ultimately lose it all in the end. Wisdom knows how to prioritize.

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Fear the Lord and the King

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page so you can follow along every day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Proverbs 24:21–22 (ESV)
21 My son, fear the LORD and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22 for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?


Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at .

Psalm 128:1–6 (ESV)
1 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!
2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!
6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!

What does it mean to be truly happy, to be blessed of the Lord? We need to fear Him, and to walk in His ways. I picture life as a perilous journey. If we stray from the path, we will come into harm’s way. But as long as we stick to the straight and narrow of God’s directions, we’ll be alright.

But what is God’s way? It’s for us to labour with our hands certainly, and not to laze around. It’s for us to marry, if that’s our calling, and not to mess around sexually. We’ll have a generally happy family life if we fear the Lord.

David’s family life was rather dysfunctional. But that’s what you get when you practice polygamy and don’t discipline your children. Nonetheless, he was blessed to have a large family.

Maybe we take grandparenting for granted nowadays. But in those days, when life expectancy was shorter, it was a special blessing to be able to see your grandchildren. May peace be with God’s people!

“Father in heaven, please bless us as we work and wait upon You. May we fear You as we ought, and walk in Your ways, until You call us home, in Christ’s name, amen.”