The Laziness of a Sluggard Leads to Poverty and Sorrow (Proverbs 6)

Scripture reading – Proverbs 5; Proverbs 6

This is the second of two devotionals for today’s Scripture reading. Taken from Proverbs 6, you will notice that Proverbs 6:9-11 is decidedly “politically incorrect,” yet perpetually true!

I fear we live in a world that rewards idleness, and punishes industry.  Defined as slothfulnesss, in the book of Proverbs, laziness is rampant in our society! [Words and phrases in brackets are the amplifications and applications of the author.]

Solomon confronted his son with two questions that were meant to awaken him to the tragic end of the lazy and slothful (6:9).

Proverbs 6:9-10 – “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?”
10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber [drowsiness], a little folding [clasping] of the hands to sleep.”

Benjamin Franklin’s adage, Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” is a suitable parallel to Proverbs 6:9. Wise parents will instill in their children the daily disciplines Franklin boasted would make for health, success, and wisdom! Instead, some families model exactly the opposite, allowing their children to take the easy path over the disciplined.  Solomon’s and Franklin’s wisdom was intended to touch more than physical labor, their counsel also applied to study, and every aspect of being responsible before God and man. Discipline is a life-long challenge, while easy choices often bring the tragedy of sorrow and shame.

Laziness leads to a predictable end–Poverty.  (6:11)

Proverbs 6:11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth [travels or journey; i.e., poverty is slowly, but surely approaching], and thy want [poverty; hunger] as an armed man [a man bearing a shield to deflect blows, leaving one in a helpless state].”

Poverty seldom comes upon a man suddenly. No, poverty “travelleth,” and its approach is slow, steady and certain. If parents fail to instill a daily discipline of study, and labor in their children, they allow the laziness of a sluggard to become a predictable path to poverty and sorrow.

Closing thoughts – In the same way a shield deflects the blows of an enemy in battle (6:11b), laziness and a disposition for lethargy in any discipline of life deflects the hope of success and prosperity.

Proverbs 20:4  “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.”

Wake up, sluggard!

Copyright © 2021 – Travis D. Smith