Monday, January 14, 2013

Proverbs 6:6-11 Get up, you lazy fool!

Before I move on this morning, I just have to give you the opportunity to check out my daughter Molly’s blog published last week, which is about the concept of hoarding and being controlled by what we own. If you have small children or grandchildren, this is must-read for inoculating your children against a sense of entitlement. Click here to read!

In today’s verses in Proverbs, Solomon makes such a quick turn from the subject of lending, that you might get whiplash! These next verses speak to the subject of ambition, with a strong rebuke to the lazy:

Go to the ant, you sluggard;

    consider its ways and be wise!  
It has no commander,

    no overseer or ruler,  
yet it stores its provisions in summer

    and gathers its food at harvest.  
How long will you lie there, you sluggard?

    When will you get up from your sleep?  
A little sleep, a little slumber,

    a little folding of the hands to rest—  
and poverty will come on you like a bandit

    and scarcity like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:6-11)

About thirty years ago I did a study in Proverbs about the subject of wealth vs. poverty. We will read much on this topic while in this book! This is the first mention of one of the causes of poverty: laziness. Now, we know this is not the only cause, but there are many people who do end up in poverty because they refuse to get off their behinds and get to work! Solomon is promising the reader that if you do not get up out of bed and get going, preferring to lounge around like a slug, you will end up in poverty. 

The image I’m getting here is that of a teenager who, during the summer, keeps late hours, then cannot get himself up out of bed to look for the summer job that Dad has been haranguing him to find. You want to shake him or throw water on him. “Get up, you fool! Quit wasting the day and get out there and pound the pavement!”

I remember how much I hated the idea of going out and finding a summer job when I was home from college! It wasn’t so much laziness as fear. But I am so grateful for a father who kept pushing me! I had applied at one place, and the manager told me he didn’t need anyone. This actually relieved me, as I could honestly claim to my father that I had tried. But Dad said, “Go back and ask again. You need to show a strong interest.” Thinking my father was a lunatic, but nevertheless feeling safe to go back and ask again, I went back a second time. Still no positions available. Phew! But my father made me go back a THIRD time! This time, the manager said, “You know, I don’t really have any openings, but I’m so impressed by your persistence, I’m going to hire you anyway!” Wow! I learned a huge lesson about employers and how to get a job! The truth is that summer job had a lot to do with me reconnecting with my husband Don, which led to our marriage! So, thank, Dad, for pushing me!

Don’t you love how Solomon refers to the industrious ant? I love how God uses His creation to teach us truths about life and about Himself. That amazing creature is a model of industry and persistence. Anyone who has been invaded by ants would agree! They are so focused on their task and don’t let any obstacles get in their way. They work ceaselessly and take care to store up for the future. { Okay, so I guess having the annuity is a smart thing! }

The point Solomon is making is that we need to work for our needs. God did not call us to easy! He is the Provider, but He expects us to work - not because He is a mean taskmaster, but because work is GOOD for us! It develops so many characteristics that we need. Work not only provides us with finances, but with a purpose outside of ourselves. It trains us to be responsible, submissive to authority, and accountable to others. It provides us with a great deal of satisfaction. God is preparing us for heaven, and I have a feeling we will NOT be sitting on our bottoms there!  

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