"He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart."
“He that troubleth his own house.”
How wicked and disconcerting it is that a man or woman will bring trouble to their own family. The very ones that they should be caring for are those that they are bringing harm and misery to. “Troubleth” is the Hebrew word that means,
“to trouble, stir up, disturb, make (someone) taboo…to be disturbed, be stirred up,…disturbance, calamity”1 (BDB).
This is very descriptive of the unhappiness they bring to their own loved ones at home. There are so many ways that a person may bring trouble home. Greed is one way.
“He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live” (Proverbs 15:27).
By being so greedy, he/she withholds from their family what is needed to make life livable. In going after gain, their covetousness makes them super-stingy with what they do have. They are the living persona of Dicken’s Scrooge. Surely, they are troubling their home.
Then there are the cases of men and women so addicted to gambling pursuits that on payday, their paycheck never makes it home to feed and clothe the children. Their families are humiliated and despondent. Yes, these much trouble their homes.
“The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh” (Proverbs 11:17).
Some are so looking for the next party, the next high, or just the next fix, that their interests are only selfish. They have the same lust for “riotous living” that the Prodigal son had, only they have families to care for, but they ignore their responsibilities. They feed only their own lust. Their homes are greatly troubled, for their family must live with the nonstop lies and deceit of their tormentor.
“Shall inherit the wind:”
The problem with the wind is that it cannot be grabbed. It slips through the fingers, and there is no substance to it. To “inherit the wind” is to gain nothing. The “wind” in scripture often speaks of something worthless, something that never gives sustenance.
“The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away” (Psalm 1:4).
“In sharp contrast to the firmly-rooted, flourishing, fruitful tree is the chaff on the threshing-floor, worthless in itself, and liable to be swept away by every passing breeze.”2
“Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion” (Isaiah 41:29).
“Shalt inherit the wind – He who dissipates his property by riotous living, shall be as unsatisfied as he who attempts to feed upon air”3 (Clarke).
“And the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.”
Fools will not prosper. As those who bring trouble home, fools will always need to be serving someone else.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
Fortunately, these kinds of people mentioned today do not have to continue on in their self-absorbed ways. There are help and change available for those who will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ from their sin. Seek out the wisdom of a godly pastor or Biblical counselor, these can show you the way of the Lord.
1. Brown, Driver, Briggs. Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, the electronic version in eSword.
2. Cambridge Bible, the electronic version in eSword.
3. Adam Clarke, Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, the electronic version in eSword.