Thursday, March 24, 2016
Food from the Fallow Ground
As I was reading in Proverbs this morning I came upon Proverbs 13:23: “Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor.” We all heard the saying that it is better to teach a person to fish than to give him a fish. There is a lot of poverty in our world and in our country. The United States government has spent billions of dollars to tackle the poverty problem and the percentages are not much better now than they were 50 years ago. My purpose here is not to provide a naïve remedy for a complex problem. But I thought that this principle from Scripture was interesting.
There is a lot of fallow ground where the poor live, even in cities. What if people could be shown how to till up some ground for a small garden and be shown how to plant a few vegetables? What if several neighbors could get permission to garden on a vacant lot near their homes in a big city? I know this is being done in many places, but there is an underlying truth here in this proverb. There are resources available within reach of most poor people, but they may not know how to access it. They may not have the motivation to access it. They may just not want to do that much work. But whatever the reason, it would be worthwhile to continue helping, teaching and showing how individuals can be more productive where they are using the resources that are right around them.