Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 13:23
"Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, but it is swept away by injustice"
This is a very interesting proverb because it gives two reasons why there is not enough food to feed the poor: slothfulness and injustice. What is interesting to me is that Solomon says both are true and yet most people and political movements land on only one. They either trumpet the slothfulness of the poor or the injustice that is done to them. But both are true.
This is the Hebrew word nir, which means the un-tilled or un-worked ground. It could be worked, but it is not being used for food production. There are times when the soil must lie fallow and un-tilled but notice that Solomon is saying that the poor have access to the means of food production, but they are not putting in the work and patience to bring out the food.
It is important for everybody to realize that they are responsible for their condition. If you don't like your job, then take responsibility to get a new one. If you don't like your weight, then take responsibility and change it. If you don't have the education you need, then take responsibility and get what you need. If you don't like the state of your marriage, then take responsibility and learn what you can do to change it. Solomon is saying that there are options, for the poor, that remain unexplored.
This is two Hebrew words lo and misphat, which means no justice or no judgment. The idea is that a decision was made that took away the ability of the poor to produce the food and goods that they need. This is also a constant problem with the poor. They are exploited. There are decisions made by people they know, by government officials, by corporations, and by the rich that sweep away their ability to produce what they need and desire. Realize that Solomon is accurately saying that decisions that people make deprive the poor from having enough to eat. Decisions – such decisions are usually based upon a selfish need to have more for themselves.
Some Christians must come to understand that it is not possible for people to escape the cycle of poverty until the decisions that were made that keep them there are reversed.
The believer must be aware of both factors that keep the poor in poverty. There is a need to fight against both slothfulness and injustice.