Scripture reading – Proverbs 5; Proverbs 6

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This is the second of two devotionals for today’s Scripture reading. Taken from Proverbs 6, notice that Proverbs 6:9-11 is decidedly “politically incorrect,” yet perpetually accurate! The subject of this devotional is the perpetual plague of human industry—laziness. Our study is taken from Proverbs 6:9-11.

A Rebuke to the Sluggard (Proverbs 6:9-11)

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

Notice that Solomon proposed to his son an observation concerning laziness that he addressed in two questions. The questions were meant to awaken the young prince’s understanding concerning the sin and 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 equivalent to Proverbs 6:9. Wise parents understand and will instill in their children the daily disciplines Franklin boasted would make for health, success, and wisdom! Sadly, some families model the opposite and permit their children to follow the path of ease and fickleness.

Solomon’s wisdom and Franklin’s insight address more than mere physical labor. Their counsel and caution apply to every aspect of one’s responsibility to God and man. Discipline rewards the diligent, but the way of the sluggard tends to poverty.

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

Proverbs 6:11 So shall thy poverty [want; destitution] come as one that travelleth [i.e., the approach of poverty is slow but sure], and thy want [poverty; hunger] as an armed man [leaving one the victim of a thief].”

Poverty seldom comes upon a man suddenly. No, poverty “travelleth,” and its approach is slow, steady, and sure. When 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 that son or daughter’s poverty and sorrow.

Closing thoughts –

Lesson – Laziness and a disposition for lethargy in any discipline of life will deflect the hope of success and prosperity. Solomon states in a later proverb the same sentiment when he wrote: “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing (Proverbs 20:4).

Wake up, sluggard!

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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