We live in an instant society. We want instant knowledge and we get it through google.” We want instant entertainment and we get it through hundreds of television channels and radio stations. We want instant satisfaction for our appetites and we get it through an abundance at grocery stores and restaurants that will easily please any palate. We want instant gratification and we can get it visually over the internet or physically through a multitude of sources. We have learned that our instant desires for satisfactions can and should be fulfilled. Yet that instant gratification often hastens our downfall.
Solomon records insightful wisdom in Proverbs19:2 “Also it is not good for a soul to be a without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet.” At first glance, this seems like many proverbs that are not very clear. Yet this verse fits with today’s lifestyle perfectly. When a person has the ability to acquire many things instantly, it feeds the flesh to want more and more things like what it can acquire.
I know, because I like to be “efficient” with my time and “to do” lists. I often cram too much into my schedule so that I do not take enough time for solitude and Sabbath rest, let alone silence. I strive to always learn, but my feet keep going so I don’t slow down to ponder and let God’s Spirit do His teaching and convicting.
Proverbs19:2 teaches that I need to study, but if my schedule is crammed and I’m always moving, I really won’t be learning in a way that will transform me. It reminds me of 2 Tim. 3:7, “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” It’s good to learn, but if I’m always running, I’m not depending on God and applying His Word. If I don’t take the time to ponder and meditate on what I read and study, I’ll remain spiritually stagnant. If I don’t make the invisible reality of Jesus more real than my list of “things to do” or “achievements,” I will not make traction, let alone transformation. If fact, there are several pitfalls I may not see!
For example, I may hasten after riches and end up with poverty. Solomon contrasted the difference between the diligent and the hasty, when he wrote, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. (Pro. 21:5 NKJ) He also said, “A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him.” (Pro. 28:22 NKJ) The “get-rich-quick” schemes would fall into this category!
I may be hasty and reveal foolishness. Solomon wrote, “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly. (Pro. 14:29 NKJ) In fact hastiness in the legal realm can reveal great shame, “Do not go hastily to court; For what will you do in the end, When your neighbor has put you to shame?” (Pro. 25:8 NKJ)
Hasty thinking and actions with an ungodly perspective can lead to destroy life. Solomon wrote, “For their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.” (Pro. 1:16 NKJ)
The godly perspective contrast is recorded by the psalmist, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Ps. 46:10 NKJ) It takes the spiritual disciplines of meditation, silence, solitude and Sabbath rest to slow a person down and know, truly know, who the Lord Jesus is.
In all things, the prophet Habakkuk established the life principle regarding haste when he said, “But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” (Hab. 2:20 NKJ) May we all be diligent, deliberate and purposeful in all things to bring glory to His name!