(#96) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:19-A Thorny Issue

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:19: “The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway.”

If this refers to real thorns, “the lazy” will refuse to struggle through difficulties and work. If this refers to imaginary thorns, “the lazy” will imagine too much difficulty to overcome and refuse to work. Either way, “the lazy” is an expression denoting those who are wasting their lives. Jesus Christ described a man giving three servants “talents” “each according to his own ability,” five, two and one. After the others produced profit equal to their talents, the one-talent man returned his one with the sorry excuse: “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours” (Matthew 25:24-25). Jesus was hard on such a lazy person when he was condemned as a “wicked and lazy servant” (Matthew 25:26). “Wicked” for blaming someone else for expecting him to produce, “lazy” for producing nothing with what he had! God will save no lazy person from himself/herself, or from eternal punishment for such laziness! Jesus’ invitation is for “all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). After Jesus miraculously fed 5000 men not counting the women and children with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish (John 6:1-14), they followed Him for another “free meal” the next day. Jesus told them: “’Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.’ Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent’ (John 6:26-29). Those who call the church only when their laziness has dug them a hole, need repentance, not repeated assistance! Helping those who are searching for the Truth of God’s Word is benevolence, helping those who don’t care about Truth but only “freebies” is malevolence. Gospel Truth includes the Holy Spirit-inspired rule: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The “lazy” have not “will” to work, and therefore crowd government lines for: commodities, food stamps, reduced-price school lunches and Internet, free cell phones, health insurance, and whatever else the government is willing to re-distribute among them. They are stealing from any who have a deserving need for such temporary aid; are empowering laziness in government who no longer has to work at meeting their constitutional obligations because of built-in votes; and are clogging up the “highway” of “the upright” by forcing them to support wastrels whom not even God will have without changing! Another proverb God has given says: “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread” (Proverbs 20:13).

Becoming a Christian requires willful obedience (Acts 2:38, 40-41), and the souls of new Christians were to be strengthened when exhorted “to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:22). Those who are sleeping through their lives, expecting to return to God their one-talent lives, will hear their Judgment: “Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:28-30).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.