Proverbs 12:11 and 28:19 are very similar. The first half is identical. “He who works his land will have abundant food”. The second half is slightly different and thus adds to my understanding. “He who chases fantasies lacks judgment” and “The one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.”
Most of the world’s population were farmers until mid last century. Though many are still farmers, others now obtain the substances for living by other means. A modern application for “works his land” is to “work constant, true, and hard at an honest living”. A continually applied effort even when crop diseases, floods, droughts, and pests destroy a year’s effort does obtain abundant food for self, family, and maybe some extra for selling.
“Chasing fantasies” means then as now “get rich quick schemes” and “schemes for making easy money”. Another saying is, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” Getting rich quick ideas often require a large down payment and sacrifice. When it fails poverty follows. An old saying is, “A sucker is born every minute.” (A human is born once a minute.)
A question I need to meditate on is why am I so easily drawn into financial fantasy propositions that never pay off? The answer is I become tired and frustrated with the daily grind and I lose hope. A more important question is why do I waste my time thinking about things I cannot afford and make plans that will never happen? Some dreams are so unrealistic that they deprive me of time, thought, and effort on a long-term plan for financial security.
Paul wrote, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12) What is the secret? Jesus proclaimed, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.“ (Matthew 11:28) And, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) Therefore, I can find peace and satisfaction in Jesus while I work at an honest occupation.