Studies in the Book of Proverbs #16

(#16) Six Hasty Misjudgments of Youth: 6:1-7-27 – ONE AT A TIME.

6:6-11: (2) Don’t Be Lazy!

Verses 6-8: After pointing out the danger of being too hasty in co-signing and participating in agreements without proper thoughtfulness, Solomon now turns to those who make no plans at all! “Sluggard” is the term for a person who moves like a “slug,” or shell-less snail. This is not meant to be complimentary! The “sluggard” doesn’t like to move, so the verse urges “go to” and “consider” the “ant.” This parallel is instructive to anyone who will put out effort to learn it. The “ant” is a very small, but effective teacher of God’s Wisdom, which is seen in the Creation (Proverbs 3:19-20). The ant colony has no “captain” (leader), “Overseer” (superintendent), or “ruler” (authority figure). Who has given ants such knowledge, but God? Ants are industrious, organized, adventurous, and efficient. Ants show that an organized society is possible as long as its’ members follow God’s Wisdom. Ants are orderly and opportunistic, because they take advantage of the seasons, gaining “supplies” in the summertime when plentiful, and “gathering food” in “harvest” when ready.

Verses 9-10: “How long” is a question that puts emphasis upon ending the practice, in this case, of sleeping. “When” puts emphasis upon a time limit of “sleeping.” The point is, that sluggards must make a choice to end their slothfulness. The lazy person’s response to these questions is to plan more of what is already being done: “sleep,” “slumber,” “folding of the hands to sleep.” A lazy person takes “little” steps, and thereby feels no twinge of conscience at being lazy. The sluggard rationalizes him/herself into further laziness, which is a by-product of being lazy!

Verse 11: Laziness overcomes a person subtlety, as a “prowler,” and creates “need” (steals) like “an armed man” (robber). Laziness robs one of opportunity, passion, determination, progress, individual strength, and family. God worked six days in creating the world and then rested (Genesis 2:1-2); God ordered Israelites to work six days and then rest (Exodus 20:9-11); the Apostle Paul worked to support himself so that the Thessalonians would not be burdened (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9). Then Paul said: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). God’s solution in exterminating “sluggards” is to let them starve to death! Every society whose “takers” outnumbers and outvotes the “earners” is doomed to crumble. Politicians who cater to “sluggards” and penalize the “workers” are in direct contradiction to the Wisdom of God. “Go to the ants” and see what we once were and could be again.

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

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