Don’t Be a Sluggard
I have always liked this section of Proverbs 6…let’s read verses 6-11:
Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, 8 Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. 9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep—11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.
In the previous section Solomon wrote about the dangers of being surety for a friend in a financial situation. Now he turns his attention to laziness. Actually, the word “sluggard” had a richer meaning than just lazy. We’re not talking about a guy who is sitting on the couch eating chips watching football instead of mowing the lawn. There is more to the word than that. In other proverbs the “sluggard” is contrasted with the “upright” and the “shiftless”. He is contrasted with the “righteous”. So, I think there’s a little more to it than simply being lazy. The sluggard’s way of life is viewed as leading to poverty. The sluggard is viewed as kind of being lulled into the state of poverty, not even aware enough to know his destruction is upon him.
The sluggard is contrasted with the ant. Ants seem to have an internal motivation which moves them to work. The ant is not lazy. The ant prepares in the summer for the leaner times of the winter. I’m not an ant expert, but I have to admit that I’ve never seen an ant take a nap! For me the application is that as an ant seems to have an internal motivation, the Spirit of God is our internal motivation to not be a sluggard. Life is too short to waste. People are too valuable to push aside and to not be involved in their lives. The gospel is too precious not to be shared. There’s nothing wrong with down time but we need to be on guard for an attitude which leads to being a sluggard. So, if you’re reading this while sitting on the couch…perhaps it’s time to get up.