Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth!

Lazy people do not deserve comfort or kindness. Solomon used sarcastic hyperbole to ridicule them in this proverb. They fold their arms and are too lazy to even feed themselves. They want food to fall into their mouths. An exaggeration? Yes, but one that makes a powerful point. So necessary is the lesson, Solomon repeated it in Prov 26:15.

You hear similar words when some say, “That lazy bum sits around with his arms folded.” Consider, when your arms are folded, your hands are held against your bosom by the opposite arm. You also hear, “He stands around with his hands in his pockets.” Lazy people dislike the thought of exertion, so they put their hands into safekeeping. David even asked the Lord once to take His hand out and use it to deliver him (Ps 74:11).

A great work ethic did not originate with man. God worked six days in creating the world, and His example should be good enough for you. He wisely ordained that work is good and should be done with diligent zeal. Before Adam sinned, God had appointed him the work of dressing the garden (Gen 2:15). Work is not a curse; it is a blessing.

The cure for lazy people is starvation. Welfare promotes slothfulness and encourages people to be lazy. Paul commanded that those who did not work should not be allowed to eat (II Thess 3:10), and Solomon commanded against giving food to lazy people, even in the plentiful time of harvest (Pr 20:4). Christian charity does not include sluggards.

Wise parents remember this rule. Children and teenagers do not deserve to eat unless they have worked in school, a job, or chores. Why create lazy adults? Fixing meals and snacks when they do not work hard is not love; it is cruel hatred. Train them to work hard, to work fast, and to enjoy a job well done. They will be successful and have plenty to eat!

A favorite place for lazy people to hold their hands in their bosoms is in bed. The pleasure of self-cuddling for an unnecessary hour of sleep is just too much to resist. The wise Preacher saw this love of sleep and ridiculed it (Pr 6:9-10; 24:30-34; 26:14). Snooze buttons on alarm clocks are foolish. Get up, sluggard! Get up! The day is wasting!

Once a person starts down the path of laziness, work becomes harder and harder. A lazy attitude toward work will make you sleepy (Pr 19:15); obstacles will seem much more difficult (Pr 15:19). Diligence begins in the heart and mind, when you choose to enjoy work. The best way to tackle a job is to start now, with intensity. Do not think about it. Hard work is its own reward, but you only know this blessing by getting to work.

Ever heard, “I’m too tired to fix anything tonight”? Virtuous women do not say this. A woman would feel better and less tired, if she ran to the kitchen and creatively put supper together. The words themselves, and the thoughts generating them, are mentally and physically disabling. Do not make excuses. Work! You will feel better and sleep better.

Lazy people have blessings, but they are too lazy to take advantage of them. They may take game in hunting, but they are too tired to dress it when they get home (Pr 12:27). An opportunity is frightening to them, for it likely involves more than sleep. What a shame!

Of course, sluggards always have excuses for not getting much done. They tell of dangers on the job (Pr 22:13; 26:13) and of unfavorable circumstances (Pr 20:4). And their arrogant slothfulness will resist even seven wise men giving good answers (Pr 26:16).

Solomon could spot a sluggard by checking his field (Pr 24:30-34). Dear reader, how clean is your car? Your house? Your closets? Your desk? Is there clutter anywhere? Why? Is there a lion in the way? Is it too cold? Or is folding your hands too exciting?

Saints should hate slothfulness (Rom 12:11). Their reputations and assets should reflect a godly work ethic. Instead of holding hands in your bosom, they should be put to good productive labor (Acts 20:34-35; Eph 4:28; I Thess 4:11-12). Instead of the idleness that ruins women (Ezek 16:49), let them keep a house full of children (I Tim 5:13-14).

The Lord Jesus Christ was intent on the work He had been given (John 4:34; 9:4; 17:4), and you should be thankful for Him and His diligent faithfulness in saving your soul. You now have an opportunity to be spiritually diligent for Him (Heb 6:11-12; II Pet 1:10).

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