Proverbs 27:23-27 says: Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.
I like these verses as they tell me of farming, the farmer, what he owns and how he endures. It tells me how diligent and persistent he is in tending his livestock and in his care of them. He looks to his herds with much delight and satisfaction as he knows they will be protected under his watchful eye. He knows, too, that his riches may not last long because sooner or later he will sell all his flocks, earn from them, but may not use the income on good purpose. When he will squander it all, then he has nothing - not even the flocks that he once had.
The same is true with the Preacher. He looks to the state of the flock (the congregation) and realizes that when he looks too well to the “status” of the herd in the church (income from the people), he soon finds out that his “payment” will not last forever. The following generations may give less than what the previous generation so willingly once gave. The giving will not last forever.
I will break down the rest of the verses to help you understand how l perceive what is going on here, in a Biblical sense, with the help of the Holy Spirit. l believe this may be right. Here they are:
- The hay appeareth is the LORD Himself in all His glory revealing Himself to us through His Holy Word, convicting us thru the Holy Spirit, humbling us and allowing us to see our need for Him.
- The tender grass sheweth itself, ass sheweth itself, l believe are new Christians and babes in Christ Jesus, who just received salvation and have been born again by the Spirit of God.
- The herbs of the mountain are gathered l believe are those Christians who were once backslidden, have run back in the arms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to be sheltered once again and kept in safety till He comes again, that blessed hope we look forward to so much.
- The lambs are for thy clothing l feel is the precious blood of Jesus Christ that clothes us each day from sin, protects and preserves us, and keeps us safe from the snares of Satan.
Verse 27 tells me of the lost who will have enough to sustain their needs and have nothing in the end. But, that verse tells me of the saved that he will have enough milk (Word of God) to last. The saved (the sheep), too, will be supplied by the goats (unsaved) in ways they don't realize or fully understand. The household and maidens (those who are saved) will receive enough to live off from the unsaved that may live in the same house with other maidens who may be unsaved. Not all are saved in each household.
These are just my thoughts on the mentioned verses of the Scripture. Friends, especially the preachers, l pray the Lord will bless you all and keep you in safety. With a reliance and dependence on HIM, you will not go wrong. Your life is a never ending battle as the Devil is against you and hates you, so be wary and let your thoughts and heart be of one accord with GOD Almighty. He will sustain you each day till you see Him face to face.
(c) October 2, 2010, Michael Carey