There are two kinds of persons on earth: those that are self-based achievers or those who are gift-based receivers. King Solomon, the ultimate achiever, understands the futility of striving. All his achievements were favors from the Lord. When he asked for wisdom, many other things were given to him. So the psalm that is attributed to him clearly states this vital truth: unless the Lord is in what we do, we do it in vain. The house builders, the city watchmen and even the farmers know fully well. To be free of anxiety-filled building, watching or toiling, trusting in the Lord to provide is the only solution.
Having children is another example Solomon gives. How many of us, due to our fertility or ability, can have the fruit of the womb or an arrow-filled quiver? To have children is a heritage from the Lord and a sign of His favor. It is a blessing rather than the result of one trying and achieving. The Lord has to move for us to have all these things in life. When we receive them, we know they are gifts from above. A person with such mindset does not depend on his own efforts and is not anxious about his work and is able to go to sleep at night and have rest. He is filled with blessings of life, he is not ashamed for he is protected through God’s provisions.
The Book of Proverbs expands on this thought by comparing these two types of personalities. There are those who multiplies his wealth by interest and profit, those who play by their own rules and refuse to hear the law, those who misled the upright into evil ways and schemes are those achievers. Our society glorifies the achievers but puts down the receivers, but here, the receivers are those who get the last laugh. The wealth gained by the achievers is falling into the laps of the receivers, those who are generous to the poor. God hears the prayers of the receivers but abhors the prayers of the achievers. In the end, the blameless receivers would receive a goodly inheritance.
The priests of the Old Testament were receivers, not having any inheritance but had God as their inheritance. They might have compared themselves with others who tried to achieve but at the end of the day, it were the priests who had gotten the best gift, God Himself. Even the New Testament believers are a group of receivers -- they receive God’s grace and salvation, according to Peter. It is by the grace of God through the powerful resurrection of the Lord Jesus that we have obtained our eternal life. We have a living hope up in heaven, an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading.
Are you an achiever or a receiver? In what areas of your life are you still striving to achieve? Give it to the Lord now and have peace and joy unspeakable!
Ps 127:1-5 Ezek 44:1-45:12 1 Pet 1:1-12 Prov 28:8-10