This verse is another directive about how to prepare myself and my things to be able to get the most out of life. It talks about planning, order and priorities.
The priorities here were critically important in the Old Testament world and these suggestions would have probably been “no-brainers” for the ancients.
First, they should “put their outdoor work in order and get their fields ready.” This would represent the family being certain they could grow sufficient food for themselves to survive in this place. There were no groceries stores in the neighborhood!
They probably had to live like squatters at that location until this got worked out. But, as our modern wise saying goes, “You have to crawl before you can walk!”
As they were getting their fields together, if they were smart, they were also identifying – even gathering – building materials. And, once they knew they could sustain themselves there, annually, it would be appropriate to “build their house” and live their permanently.
To go to all the time, trouble and expense to build their house and then not be able to grow enough food to sustain themselves would have been the height of bad planning!
I’m still guilty of getting “a great idea” and charging ahead with it before I “put my outdoor work in order and got my fields ready.” That’s why God gave me a wife and co-workers to show me just how wrong I really am!
Focus! And remember: make the main thing…the main thing!