Proverbs 11:24-25

An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs
Charles Bridges

"There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
and there is one who withholds more than is right,
but it leads to poverty.
The generous soul will be made rich,
and he who waters will also be watered himself."

God has put a mark of distinguishing favor upon the exercises of that mercy [generosity], which is his own attribute. He scatters his blessings richly around, and those who partake of his spirit do the same. Men may scatter in improvidence and sin, and it tends to poverty. But there is he who scatters and yet increases. The farmer scattering his seed plentifully over his field expects a proportionate increase. And shall not the man of God who disperses abroad the seed of godliness, consecrating his substance and influence to the Lord as he has opportunity, doing good unto all men, receive a plentiful increase? The men of the world hazard all in uncertain and often ruinous speculations. But in this scattering [of godliness] there is no uncertainty, no speculation. Bounty is the way to plenty. Have faith in God; laying out for him will be laying up for ourselves. This will be abundantly manifest either in a visible enlargement of earthly blessings or in a satisfying enjoyment of a more limited portion. The reward of grace will be given in the gracious acceptance of our God, and in a blissful reception into "everlasting habitations."

But is the covetous worldling happier--nay, is he richer--in withholding more than is just? Seldom does he prosper much even in the world, because God metes to men in their own measure: bad crops, bad debts, expensive sickness, and a variety of similar deductions soon to amount to far more than liberal alms would have done.

Still more clearly does the Lord mark his blessing and his blast in the spiritual dispensation. The liberal soul is made fat in the healthful vigor of practical godliness; and while he is the soul of blessing to others, he is watered himself with the descending showers. The Minister is refreshed by his own message of salvation to his people. The Sunday School teacher learns many valuable lessons in the work of instruction. The soul of the Christian friend glows in carrying the precious name of Jesus to a fellow sinner. Every holy temper, every spiritual gift, every active grace is increased by exercise, while its efficiency withers by neglect.

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