I open today’s devotional with a reminder that Parables are principles for life that are generally true; however, they are not guarantees. That dose of reality will put us in good stead as we turn our focus to Proverbs 10:4-5. Solomon writes:
Proverbs 10:4 – “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack [lazy] hand: but the hand of the diligent [eager; determined] maketh rich.”
Solomon contrasts the character of two individuals—the lazy who tend to poverty and the rich who are often determined and industrious. Generally those are the rule; however, there are exceptions. For instance, a rich man may have acquired his wealth by means other than hard work. A man of possessions may in fact be the benefactor of an inheritance or another’s generosity. Some are poor, not because they are unwilling to work, but because they have not had the opportunities to enrich themselves through labor.
I have seen a rise in class envy in recent years. Some observe, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” What no one is willing to observe is what Solomon states in this parable—poverty is often a result of laziness! When a man is content to live on the public dole, he should expect nothing more than poverty!
Solomon reminds his son in Proverbs 10:5 that a man of industry makes his father proud.
Proverbs 10:5 – “He that gathereth in summer is a wise [and prudent] son: but he that sleepeth [slothful] in harvest is a son that causeth shame [laziness leads to failure and shame].”
A wise farmer works in spring and summer, knowing winter is coming. A foolish son sleeps while others labor.
Challenge—Parents must teach their children responsibility and to work while they are young. Assign them household chores; teach them to clean their rooms, make their beds, and pick up their clothes. When they are old enough, mow the yard, wash the car and clean the table.
Mom and dad, if you fail to teach your children how to work, they will be what Solomon warns, “a son that causeth shame.”