Why should we work the field firstly and then build the house? (Proverbs 24:27)


Thank you for the answers you give on this site. May I ask you a question. How to understand Proverbs 24:27? What is the central idea here?

The text

Before I give the explanation, I will quote the text:

Prepare your work outside and make it ready for yourself in the field; afterwards, then, build your house – (Proverbs 24:27)(NASB)


Reading the text, it becomes clear that it is addressed to a man who does not have a house, and intends to build a house because this is a priority. Maybe it’s about a newly married person who wants to build a house, a place for him and his family. But God tells him not to get confused about priorities and being so focused on building his house, he should not forget about another, higher priority – to prepare the work in the field, the work which is outside, which if it is not done on time will bring him serious consequences. In Moldova we have a saying: “A spring day feeds a year.” All things have their time and if you do not sow or do certain work in the field in its time, this will affect the fruits and even one can remain without harvest if he sows later in time or doesn’t do on time other work in agriculture.


But someone will say: “And how does this verse apply to me if I am not busy with agriculture?”

In all human activities there are things and tasks that can lead us astray on their degree of priority. Therefore, you need to plan things well and to continuously assess your daily priorities to see if an important task remains undone, something that can be done only today and that will cause damage and loss if you leave it for later.

No matter how many activities and tasks we have to do, let us not be deceived by them regarding the value of our soul and the priority of our salvation. Do not be like the rich fool man about whom Lord Jesus told this parable:

“The land of a rich man was very productive. and he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12 :16-21)(NASB)

And those who have already saved their souls through faith in Jesus Christ, should know and realize that our highest priority is to preach the gospel, because we are a chosen race, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession to proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Let us not get caught by the things of life so that we no longer give priority to preaching the Gospel, even if we live in a time when “all seek after their own interests and not those of Christ Jesus.” May the Lord help us to redeem the time, because the days are evil and may God help us save the more those who go to hell without even knowing and thinking about it.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru