A Bountiful Eye

For Thursday, June 14, 2007
Proverbs 22:9

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.

What is a "bountiful" eye? It can be translated good or generous. It is evidently an eye that looks about and sees ways to bless others. The man with the bountiful eye bestows bounty to others, but I think also included is the thought that he reaps bounty.

Compare this proverb with 11:24: "One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." Generosity is a virtue; furthermore, it is a virtue that reaps its own reward. But generosity means taking delight in giving. One may give a "generous" amount, but do so begrudgingly or with the intent to earn reward or assuage guilt. This proverb is upholding the person who looks for opportunity to give because he delights in giving. He shares his bread with the poor because he delights in heartening others, and because he delights in pleasing his Lord, who delights in our giving to the poor.

So in the same manner our Lord Jesus Christ has a bountiful eye. He delighted in doing God's will; he delight in giving himself for us who were poor; he delights even now in sharing his riches with his people who believe in him.