(Prov 27:18 NLT) As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.
This morning we continue our “Unlocking the Power of Proverbs – Walking in the Wisdom of God” series. This is an interesting comparison. Solomon starts off with highlighting the workers of a fig tree. These workers are diligent in digging around the tree, fertilizing it, pruning it when necessary, and tending to all its needs. When the tree produces fruit, it’s only right for these workers to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They sowed into the success of the tree and when the tree produces, they are able to reap their harvest. Paul brings this out in the New Testament, saying, “Hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor” (2 Tim 2:6) and “What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk?” (1 Cor 9:7).
After making the point that we, as workers, should be able to enjoy the fruits of our hard and diligent work, Solomon takes it from the fields of the farm to the offices of our businesses. Just like the field worker is rewarded by the owner of the farm, with fruit that is produced from the sweat of his brow, the diligent worker will likewise be rewarded. The field worker worked on that fig tree when no one was around. He was faithful to tend to the tree and he rightly benefited from it. As we fast-forward from the times of Solomon to our modern society and the current state of the economy, we find this message to be apropos. Employees today who are prompt, diligent, dedicated, focused, and who support the vision of their employer/organization are rewarded for their investment.
Joseph was promoted in Potiphar’s house, even though his was a slave. He was promoted in an Egyptian royal prison, even though he was a prisoner. The same holds true for Daniel, while Israel was under the captivity of the Babylonians. Did they get promoted ONLY because of God’s favor? Certainly not! While it was not all human effort, it was also not all God. Joseph and Daniel worked hard, they looked after the interests of their superiors, and they were faithful when no one was looking. Because of it, they were promoted even though times were rough. They were thriving while others were just surviving.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. Strive to be the best at what you do. Pray for your employer and workplace, show up on time every time, do your work with an excellent spirit, and work as if you are working directly for God (because you are). You represent God in all that you do. What does your work ethic say about the God you claim to serve?
2. Honor your Lord by honoring and respecting your employer. You should seek to be a blessing to your workplace. If the blessing is on you, then it should spill over to your work and workplace.
3. Be faithful, even when others are not looking. Don’t do what you do to be seen. God sees, and He will see to it that you get rewarded openly for what you do in secret.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for blessing me to have employment. I honor You by honoring my employer and the work I am tasked to perform. I declare, by faith, that I will strive to be the absolute best. I am thankful that Your grace is on me and I know that my success does not come from human effort alone. The blessing is working in my life. But I also know that it is not all You. You expect me to work and I declare that I will. I pray for my employer and workplace, I do my work with an excellent spirit, and I am faithful when no one else is around. They may not be looking, but I know that You are and You can bless me openly for what I do secretly. My work ethic represents You well and it also ensures that I thrive, no matter the state of the economy. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!