Considering Proverbs 11:26

He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it. – Proverbs 11:26

This proverb brings to mind a parable that Jesus taught. We call this parable the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12). In this parable, Jesus describes a rich man who had such an abundance that he had no place to store what he had, so he decided to tear down his barns and build bigger, then he would take his ease and enjoy all that he had. However, this man was a fool because he died that same night. All that he stored up for himself became worthless to him.

It’s not the same idea exactly but there are similarities, so it seems worth mentioning.

In times of trouble, people tend to hoard things. It’s a funny example, but this makes me think of the toilet paper shortage during the COVID pandemic. However, this wasn’t hoarding by those who produced toilet paper, so not that’s not exactly the same idea either.

I’m struggling to think of a good example. This might be a good proverb for those who want to discuss economic issues, of which I am no expert in any measure.

Why would someone produce a surplus of a needful product, like corn, then hoard it all and refuse to sell it? Maybe a person would do this if the price of corn is low and he’s holding out until he can get more for it. That makes sense. When prices are low, a greedy person might buy up as much as they can then withhold from others until they can sell for more.

I think the key idea has to do with the greed of man and the callousness of those who would neglect the needy. They aren’t even asked to give away the corn, but to sell it. People do despise those who withhold necessary goods in times of scarcity, and even more so when they are serving themselves or other special interests in the hopes of some future gain while people stand by them suffering. Surely God despises this also.

Jesus spoke about this too. I’m not sure where and I cannot find the exact reference, but He said something along these lines: He said that if a person comes to us in need, and we have the ability to meet those needs now, we should meet those needs immediately rather than send that person away.

Maybe there are present-day examples that we can look to, but again, I’m not an expert and I don’t keep up with all the events today as well as I sometimes would like.

Can we compare this to oil and gas shortages? What about the ultra-rich who are buying up farmland in the United States? If you have any examples that seem to fit this parable, please leave a comment. I’m coming up short here, so I’m going to move on.

PREVIOUS STUDY: Considering Proverbs 11:25 – “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus ChristFollow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future postsVisit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.

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