I grew up on a dairy farm, where one of our favorite pastimes was talking about neighboring farmers. We told stories about the three Schalliol brothers who lived on the farms north of us. We talked about the Vandecaers who lived on the next farm east of us. We chatted about the Hahns and Hunsbergers who lived south of us. Farmers in that community constantly watched each other, noticing how other farmers did things and what equipment they used, looking for information they could use in conversation with other people.
We talked a lot about one neighbor in particular. This particular farmer wore tattered, dirty overalls. His buildings were in bad shape. His cows were so dirty that he had trouble qualifying as a grade A milk producer. He milked at odd, irregular hours, a habit that stresses the cows. People who knew him well said he was so sloppy he tracked manure onto his wife’s clean floors. When he got to church on Sunday mornings, he always slept and sometimes snored through the service. In the eyes of the other farmers, this man had very little honor. The neighbors did not respect him or his farming practices. They thought he lived in a shameful way.
- Deuteronomy 26:1 - 11