Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.
The second subject (27) has to do with laying foundations. One thinks of Jesus' words in Luke 14:28-30 about the man who began to build and was not able to finish. It is the part of wisdom to count the cost, lest the undertaking be too great, and prove a monument of folly in the ends. Kidner takes the verse differently: 'The house building probably means the founding of a family (cf 14:1): a matter that must wait its turn till afterwards. As in a rural economy, well-worked fields justify and nourish the farmhouse; so a well-ordered life (in things material and immaterial) should be established before marriage.' There is much wisdom in these words, as they underline the improvidence, impracticality and potential for breakdown that lie in marriage that is entered into without adequate provision. There is nothing so calculated to wear thin the mere romance of human association as lack of hard cash over a period of time. They have also something pointed to say with regard to immaterial considerations. It is dangerous to assume that marriage solves emotional problems and difficulties. Experience teaches on the contrary that it often accentuates and intensifies them. This is to look for something in marriage that it was never designed to give or provide. A man needs to get himself sorted out first of all, before he can make much of a success in marriage. There is something else also, with regard to spiritual issues. It takes time to have Christ established as Lord of life, and undisputed Ruler. All too often, the edge is lost from one's spiritual life through not having given time to get Christ truly and unalterably installed as King in the heart.