Posts Tagged ‘proverbs’


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.

Neither you nor your government know how to make good decisions in a vacuum. The protection against bad decisions is to identify a large number of wise men to help make important decisions. If a government proceeds in haste, pride, or by the whims of one man, corruption and trouble will likely follow for that principality. But when a government heeds a broad range of wise men, there is generally profit and safety for all.

God inspired Solomon to write Proverbs to teach young men to be wise (Pr 1:1-5). Here is an important rule of prudence and wisdom. Do not make large decisions without consulting a variety of wise and successful men, who are not emotionally, personally, or financially involved. They can apply their wisdom and experience to your situation without the distracting and distorting influences that may be corrupting your thoughts.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes. Of course! Have you ever made a bad decision? Of course not! This is a fact of human behavior Solomon had often observed (Pr 14:12; 16:2,25; 21:2). But you are often wrong for many reasons, even though you may not realize it. You are inherently ignorant, emotionally affected, personally biased, educationally distorted, financially motivated, and peer influenced. You are dangerous!

Not every counselor will do! If you choose to check your ideas and decisions with just your friends, most of them will agree with you to keep your friendship and avoid debate. This very thing happened to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. After the death of his father, he listened to his young friends rather than his father’s aged and wise counselors. Because of this foolish choice, he lost 10 of his nation’s 12 tribes to a rival (I Kgs 12:1-20).

It has been said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” To counter this perverting effect of authority, those in positions of leadership must rely even more heavily on counselors. If they seek to go it alone, they are taking a great risk with their office and the poor people under them. How many souls, lives, and fortunes would have been saved, if all husbands, fathers, masters, pastors, and rulers had used counselors?

Consider World War II. Counselors could have saved Chamberlain from Hitler’s lies. If Hitler had trusted his military advisors, he would have defeated the Soviets. Counselors tried to save Japan from war with the U.S., but were rejected. And General Patton’s counsel to take out the Soviets should have been considered more. These are decisions that caused many to fall, and these are only a very few associated with only that one war!

Wise readers know God’s sovereign government of nations was the cause, course, and conclusion of World War II, so they need to remember that God in judgment may work above this rule of wisdom by corrupting counselors to bring about His will in nations. He is able and willing to do so, and He has certainly done so in the past (Job 5:12-14; II Sam 15:31; I Kgs 22:19-23; Ps 9:15-17; Isaiah 19:11-14; 29:9-16; I Cor 1:19-20; 3:18-20).

If you desire to grow in wisdom, you will jettison your thoughts and replace them with the opinions of wise counselors. This is a hard choice to make, because you sinfully hate being criticized or corrected. You want to be the wise one that always makes outstanding decisions. You must learn to crush your pride and subject your ideas and plans to the analysis and examination of others. By choosing godly and successful men as your counselors, you can instantly raise the quality and results of your decisions.

The ultimate counselors are those that know the word of God and can apply it to your life and choices (Pr 22:17-21; Job 32:6-22; 33:23-24; Ps 119:98-100; II Tim 3:16-17). Counsel contrary to the Bible is worse than no counsel at all; it is destructive (Is 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5). Do you have godly counselors in your life (Mal 2:7; Acts 8:30-31; Heb 13:7,17)? Are you such a counselor to those that need you (Pr 11:30; 15:4; Heb 5:12-14; I Pet 3:15)? You may find godly counselors in a true church of Jesus Christ.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 28:19 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. 

Do you want financial success? Then do a basic job well, day after day, obeying the economic wisdom in Proverbs. It will work! God and Solomon guarantee it! Stop going to promotional meetings, hating to work for others, listening to too-good-to-be-true investment ideas, or daydreaming about a better life. Make pleasure and rest your last thoughts (Pr 21:17,20). Consistent hard work at a needed job will work. Following the lying promises of promoters will not work. Learn wisdom: love work: hate distractions!

Men by nature are greedy and lazy. They want more of the good things of life than others have, but they want to exert themselves less than others to get them. Therefore they are tempted by two economic sins – to resent their basic jobs and/or listen to pipe dreams. Learn wisdom: love work: hate greed! Because Solomon had observed these temptations destroying men’s financial lives, he repeated this proverb in similar language (Pr 12:11).

Who in the world wants to be a farmer, when he could be a real estate tycoon driving a sports car and making deals on his cell phone of houses purchased with no money down? Who would choose to be a nurse, when she could be an international photographer for an Internet news magazine? Why be a factory slave, when you could use multilevel marketing of a mineral substitute for Viagra made from sea salt to live on a yacht by 30?

Farming was not the only job in Solomon’s day. But it best illustrated the lesson of this proverb. Farming required hard work, planning, patience, and repetition. It was the most basic of jobs – using the earth to produce food and/or to use the food to raise cattle or other animals for various products. But tilling a field behind oxen became boring and stupid when you heard fantastic rumors of network marketing riches in clothes soap!

The tortoise beats the hare financially. While the tortoise plods forward an inch at a time toward his economic goals, the hare runs at full speed from distraction to distraction, some costing him precious capital, and all costing him valuable time. When they come to the day of reckoning, the faithful labors, sound investments, and patience of the tortoise have given him a comfortable estate. The hare is exhausted, frustrated, and broke!

Solomon despised get-rich-quick schemes. He saw poor men make good income, but foolish ideas wasted it (Pr 13:23). Diligent labor in a basic job brings success (Pr 27:18). Talking about financial fantasies makes men poor (Pr 14:23). Getting distracted from the job at hand is terrible (Pr 27:23-27). Increase is by strength and leverage, not scheming (Pr 14:4). He saw financial exceptions destroying fools looking for a free lunch (Pr 1:32).

Vain persons are everywhere, especially with radio, television, telephones, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, and email. They promote the rich and famous, though they are only 1 out of 10,000. They offer impossible returns to steal your savings for themselves. Governments offer lotteries that are nothing but a tax on the poor and stupid. And liars flaunt the extravagant lifestyle of multilevel marketing “successes,” while ignoring the 98% that bought the overpriced product to pay for the “success.” The net result of these and all other financial “shortcuts” is always negative – you lose! Going down?

Why do any listen to such nonsense? Why would anyone consider lies from a person trying to fleece them of their hard earned money? There are only a few reasons. All of them are sins. Two have been given – discontentment with your job and covetousness for a different life. In addition, some do not like submitting to other men, which is simply pride and rebellion. And last, some through willful ignorance do not examine things with a critical and pessimistic eye to avoid lying snakes (Pr 14:15; 15:22; 27:12; I Thess 5:21).

This generation is obsessed with ease and pleasure – amusement, games, recreation, sports, and relaxation – but these things ruin men financially. If you love pleasure, you are going to be poor (Pr 21:17). If you love sleep, you are going to be poor (Pr 20:4,13). You will learn to despise work, because it is not as much fun to you as riotous living and sleeping in (Pr 19:15). You will waste your money on foolish amusements (Pr 21:20; Luke 15:13). And this childish lifestyle will take you down (Pr 23:21).

Your safety is in God’s word. Hard work works (Pr 10:4; 13:4; 22:29).  Haste makes financial waste (Pr 19:2; 28:20,22). Believe nothing without proof, especially testimonials or “results” above market rates (Pr 13:11; 14:15; 22:3). Taking the easy road will ruin you economically (Pr 6:9-11; 24:30-34). Only one document in the world is totally true – the Bible. Everyone and everything else are liars (Rom 3:4). Obey this proverb; love your job; do it well each day; thank God for success. If you scoff at or neglect this proverb, you will wake up poor with a hardworking neighbor ruling over you.

The proverb’s lesson applies to religious pursuits as well. There is no get-spiritual-quick seminar or television offering that can compete with daily prayer and Bible reading and listening carefully to the preaching of God’s word (II Tim 3:6-7; 4:1-4). Do not follow the vain religious personalities that offer their seductive road to God and heaven. They are liars just like the financial hucksters. There is only one door and Shepherd of the sheep, and the abundant life is obtained by obeying Him and His words (John 10:1-18).

 

 

 

 

 


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 7:24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. 

What is a father for? To bring home the bacon? To protect the home at night against intruders? To play ball in the yard? To provide an allowance for candy and junk? To finance a college education? The LORD, Creator of heaven and earth, declared fathers are to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4).

What should a father teach? How to ride a bicycle? How to balance a checkbook? How to drive a car? God declared fathers are to teach the fear of the LORD and to keep the way of the LORD (Ps 34:11; Gen 18:19). Since fearing God and keeping His commandments is the whole duty of man, this is his primary goal of teaching (Eccl 12:13-14; Ps 78:1-8).

God condemns fornication, or sex outside marriage (Heb 13:4). Solomon used this chapter to warn his son about whorish women. After introducing the subject (Pr 7:1-5), he wrote a lengthy parable of a foolish young man seduced to destruction by a strange woman 

Proverbs 7:6-23: At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. He was going down the street near the corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. Then out came a woman to meet him dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) . She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazed face she said: “I have fellowship offerings at home; today I fulfilled my vows. So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you! I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink deep of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon.” With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. 

This proverb begins his summary warning (Pr 7:24-27).

It is a shame most Christian fathers are not as open, practical, and realistic as Solomon, especially in this lascivious generation. Rather than being prudish and silent about sexual temptations, fathers need to warn against them with every technique they can muster. The danger is great; the temptations are everywhere; young men need such fathers.

Solomon applied his parable by calling his children to listen to him. Due to the subject matter, they were not infants or young children. Fathers know far more about these things than sons in their teens or twenties.  He told his children to listen and pay attention. He used the horrible fate of the young man to show they needed this instruction and warning.

Father! Do not be intimidated. Do not be ashamed. Do not be reluctant. Your son faces temptations of pornography, casual sex, and forward women. Be open, practical, and realistic. Bring the word of God to bear on this important area of his life. Compare Joseph and Samson. Describe the details that made Joseph greater than David.

Children! When your father, or mother, speaks to you about the sexual matters of life, listen to them. Pay attention. You are still a simple youth void of understanding (Pr 7:7). Make it easy for them to teach you. Tell them your temptations. Thank them for talking.

Reader! Your Father in heaven has taught all things that pertain to life and godliness. Have you listened well? Do you pay attention? Have you fully obeyed Him? It is good and profitable to heed parents’ instruction, but it is much more crucial to obey God’s.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. 

Here is treasure! Righteousness! Judgment! Equity! Every good path! Can you have all these in life? Yes! This is the best news you will get this year. If you will pursue wisdom, God will bless you with these things. The rewards are great; the requirements small. God offers this treasure for a little effort from you to obtain wisdom. Reader, go for it, today!

The Preacher, King Solomon of Israel, pressed his son to apply himself to the pursuit of wisdom and understanding (Pr 2:1-4), with the promised reward being the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God (Pr 2:5). Upon this foundation and reward, Solomon then promised that God would add many blessings, including these special four (Pr 2:6-9).

What is righteousness? It is being right. It knows and does what is right. It is justice and uprightness. It knows and does what is acceptable and pleasing to God. It is having your mind conformed to the divine standard of God’s perfect mind and laws. And if your thoughts and actions please God, then they will certainly please other men (Pr 3:1-4).

What is judgment? It is the ability to judge correctly, to form accurate opinions, to arrive at the proper notion of things; it is discretion, discernment, wisdom, understanding, and good sense. It is what men mean when they say, “That person has excellent judgment.” It is the ability to analyze a matter correctly and arrive at the correct conclusion about it.

What is equity? It knows what is fair and equal for any situation, through seeing differences that require charity and nobility to reach an equitable and fair conclusion. It is fairness, impartiality, and evenhanded dealing with things appearing unequal. It is what makes others trust you, no matter the circumstances, for they know you will be fair.

Solomon stated that Proverbs was written to teach these three wonderful virtues (Pr 1:3), which are very rare in the world today (Is 59:14; II Tim 3:1-5). Furthermore, they are aspects of God’s glorious and holy nature (Ps 98:9; 99:4), and they are character traits of the Lord Jesus Christ (Is 11:4). What hinders you from pursuing wisdom to obtain them?

Consider a very small sample of the righteousness, judgment, and equity of the Bible. It protects mother and baby birds (Deut 22:6-7), teaches that all races have the same blood (Acts 17:26), provides for working oxen (Deut 25:4), puts the burden of marriage and family on the father (Eph 5:25-29; 6:4), provides for the poor (Lev 19:9-10), teaches that mercy is more important than sacrifice (Matt 12:7), allows one church member to bring any matter to the church (Matt 18:15-17), financially rewards virginity (Ex 22:17), requires churches to take care of widows (I Tim 5:3-16), and teaches that the true love of God can only be shown by loving others (I John 5:1-2). No other book compares!

Compare a small sample of the righteousness, judgment, and equity of the world. It kills over ten million unborn children annually by extremely violent means, and yet demands funds to protect animals and birds on seven continents. It prohibits corporal punishment of children, but incarcerates the resulting criminals like animals in cages for decades. It subsidizes debt and slothfulness and penalizes credit and diligence by income tax laws. It claims to protect and honor women, but yet advertises lascivious fashions, promotes casual sex, protects pornography and prostitution, and allows divorce for any cause.

But these three things are not all that is offered to the man seeking wisdom. The proverb also offers, “Every good path”! What is every good path? It is every other virtue and grace not in the list of three. Reader, is there a better sentence in any language? If every good path is offered, then the means for your perfection and pleasure is being offered.

How can you get these four wonderful things? Humble yourself before the Creator God, and diligently seek His wisdom in His inspired scriptures. Can you humble yourself and admit that God and His Word alone are right on all subjects (Ps 119:128)? Can you reject the world’s vain thoughts (Ps 119:113)? He will reward you with these wonderful things.

The Bible can make ministers perfect for their great work (II Tim 3:16-17). Consider how much it can do for you. There is no light in this world apart from the light of the Bible (Is 8:20). It is a lamp for your feet and a light for your pathway through life (Ps 119:105). It is a light to which you should give serious attention and honor (II Pet 1:19-21).


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 1:22 How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?

What have you done today to get wisdom? If you have not done much, this proverb is for you. Are you merely stupid and lazy? Or too arrogant to accept instruction from others? Or just foolishly in love with yourself? This proverb will show which of these traits is your chief character flaw. The proverb’s questions are important: because if you continue in your ignorance, Lady Wisdom will soon be laughing at your calamities (Pr 1:24-32)!

Lady Wisdom offers wisdom to those who will take it (Pr 1:20-23). Why reject a free offer of wisdom and understanding, which are the principal matters of life (Pr 4:7)? You came into this world totally simple, a scorner, and hating knowledge. But you do not need to stay in that evil condition. Repent, and take Lady Wisdom’s gracious offer (Pr 9:1-12).

A simple person is stupid due to a combination of low intelligence, laziness, and/or apathy. They leave the mental work to others. Simple men are very content eating, working, playing, and sleeping. They cannot perceive the value of wisdom. Pursuing wisdom sounds too hard, so they wallow in simplicity until they take their last breath.

Are you simple? Is your life basically getting up, going to work, eating, relaxing, and going to bed? Is getting a paycheck a real feat to you? Do you let others study issues and provide answers? Do complex dilemmas intimidate you? Do you prefer bodily exercise over studying? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you are simple.

But Lady Wisdom calls to the simple, “How long will ye love simplicity? Why are you content to be stupid?” The words of God can make a simple man wise, if he will repent of his simplicity, beg God for wisdom, and search the Scriptures (Pr 1:4; Ps 19:7; 119:130). If you neglect her offer, you will live and die in simplicity and bear the consequences.

Scorners are arrogant persons that despise those who try to correct or teach them. They are flagrantly haughty, rebellious, and stubborn. Puffed up in pride, they mock and resent any effort to reprove them. They are snottily disrespectful to authority. They are the most profane character in Proverbs, hated by God and men (Pr 6:16-17; 9:7-8; 24:9; 26:12).

Are you a scorner? Do you bristle at authoritative teachers, especially when they correct you? Do you look for faults in a reprover to excuse your rebellion? Do you enjoy snide remarks, accusing others, or seditiously sowing discord to get a following? Do you resent authority, because you believe you are at least as wise as any you have met? Can you mock a parent or teacher, just because you disagree?  You are a scorner.

But Lady Wisdom calls to scorners, “How long will you delight in scorning? Why do you take pleasure in being a profane scorner?” Though wise men are taught to ignore and reject scorners, Lady Wisdom offers wisdom even to these brute beasts (Pr 9:7-8; Matt 7:6). If they reject her merciful offer, the God of heaven will crush them under His feet.

Fools are stubborn and lazy persons, though not as conceited and vicious as scorners. In love with themselves, they see no need to listen to anyone or make changes in their lives. After being taught, they quickly return to their vomit and wallowing in folly (Pr 26:11). They hate knowledge by resisting instruction due to love of their own thoughts (Pr 18:2).

Are you a fool? Do you think you have a good head on your shoulders and do not need teachers? Are you confident you are right? Do you like the sound of your own voice? Are you better known for a sharp retort than humble listening? Do you get angry when you cannot have your way? Do you think you could be a good teacher? Do you like to surf the Internet looking for some new thing like the foolish Athenians? You are a fool.

But Lady Wisdom also calls to fools, “How long will you hate knowledge? Why do you resist learning what is right?” Though wise men are taught to silence fools and ignore them, she offers liberal wisdom even to these stupid dolts (Pr 14:7; 23:9; 26:4-5). If they do not heed her helpful offer, they will live dysfunctional lives and die hopeless deaths.

Reader, where do you fall on this scale? Are you a simpleton? Or are you a real fool? Or are you a haughty scorner? If you have not done anything to pursue wisdom today, you are one of these three. In any case, Lady Wisdom is offering you wisdom. If you refuse her offer, she will refuse to help you when troubles come to ruin your life (Pr 1:24-28).

The words of the living God are before you. They can make you wise (Ps 119:98-100; II Tim 3:16-17). But you must read and meditate on His words to become wise. He has sent teachers to you, from parents to pastors (Eccl 12:9; Jer 3:15; I Thess 5:20). But you must humbly submit to their teaching and put it into practice. He has offered wisdom to those who will humbly beg Him for it (I Kgs 3:5; Jas 1:5). When did you last pray for it?

Why do you continue in your simple, scornful, or foolish ways? What will it take to get your attention? What will it take to get you to leave your simplicity, your scorning, or your folly? Will a divorce do it? A dysfunctional home? A rebellious child? Professional or financial trouble? Some time in prison? The lack of friends and church? A medical emergency? The death of a loved one? Lady Wisdom offers wisdom. You better take it.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 30:26 The conies (Rabbits) are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;

Are you as smart as a coney? Wise Agur used four small creatures to teach his students great wisdom (Pr 30:1,24). The ants prudently save for the future (Pr 30:25). The locusts know the power of numbers (Pr 30:27). The spider by diligence goes where most cannot (Pr 30:28). The conies wisely avoid risk and loss by choosing safe and strong protection.

Evolution is a damnable lie from hell believed by God-haters after He darkened their minds (Rom 1:18-25; I Tim 6:20-21). God created every living thing, and much wisdom can be obtained by analyzing them. Sluggards can learn by the industry of the ant (Pr 6:6-8). The fearful can learn by considering God’s care for birds and flowers (Matt 6:25-32).

What is a coney? It is a rabbit, which used to be properly and ordinarily called a coney.  The variety Agur considered for this proverb lives in the caves and clefts of mountains on several continents. Without ability to defend themselves other than speed of retreat, these feeble creatures make their homes in rock strongholds where they can run for protection.

What is the lesson of wisdom for you? When exposed to danger or risk, you should wisely hide yourself from the threat (Pr 22:3; 27:12). Rather than foolishly exposing yourself to trouble, you should protect yourself from loss by using whatever means are available. You are not very strong yourself, so you should look for other protection.

Consider some examples. Your life is feeble, and your family will suffer if you die early. Term life insurance would create an estate for them, if that were to happen. Your health is feeble, and medical costs today could quickly wipe out your savings. Health insurance protects you from that catastrophe. This is how feeble folk make their houses in rocks.

You are a feeble investor, but you can easily join a mutual fund for professional management and diversify risk across many stocks. You are feeble at savings, but a company 401k plan can give you a solid advantage. A layoff from your job with too much debt could make your family feebler, so you reduce or eliminate your financial debt before such an event. This is how feeble folk make their houses in rocks. They are safe.

Your house is also feeble, since a strong tornado could blow it away, or an accidental fire could burn it to the ground. Homeowners insurance is what wise men do to protect against such a large loss. Your car seems strong, but when it meets another car, they both crumple easily, showing that they also are feeble, so you insure them against large losses.

If you live in a crime zone, you move to a safer area, have a security system installed, get a mean dog, or let Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson move in. If you own a business, you buy liability insurance against a sue-happy generation that has no remorse about ruining your business. If your business would be severely impaired by your death or other principal officers or employees, you get large life insurance policies designed for this possibility.

Some Christians have not been taught Bible wisdom, so they think they should live from hand to mouth and trust God to take care of the rest. They accuse those that buy insurance as not having faith in God. They consider themselves spiritual giants by Bible reading and prayer while foolishly exposing their families to ruin. They have not read Proverbs, where Solomon repeatedly warns to reduce risk of all kinds in any way possible.

Think spiritually. Your father Adam’s sin and your own sins have made you very feeble, without strength, before God. You are exposed to horrific eternal danger. But thanks be to God, Who sent Jesus Christ to die for His elect in their feeble condition (Rom 5:6-21). Flee to the Rock Christ Jesus for refuge and guarantee your future safety by building your house upon the rock of His sayings (I Cor 10:4; Matt 7:24-27; Heb 6:18; Ps 62:7; 94:22).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:33-A little sleep, a little slumber, and little folding of the hands to rest

How much do you sleep? More than you need? Surely a little extra sleep cannot hurt! But Solomon warned that a little sleep, a little dozing, and a little cuddling in bed can cost you. Too much sleep wastes precious time and causes drowsiness, which will surely steal success away and leave you in poverty, shame, and trouble (Pr 19:15; 23:21).

Upon seeing the overgrown field and vineyard of a foolish and slothful man, Solomon considered the man’s assets and drew a conclusion – the man enjoyed sleeping too much, and laziness would certainly reduce him to poverty (Pr 6:6-11; 24:30-34). He learned a lesson by his great understanding, and he wrote this proverb to teach you that lesson.

Sleep is needed for survival, success, and your spirit. But too much steals time, dulls your drive, and creates drowsiness. If you need 7 hours, set your alarm for 7. Do not turn it off and take 8. The extra hour will waste time, start a bad habit, and may make you sleepier.

Solomon wrote Proverbs for youth (Pr 1:4,8; 4:1). They often oversleep, especially in a lazy generation. When families operated farms, they had to get up early. But now every excuse is used for rising later and later. Solomon said, “Get up!” Great youth will get up.

What does everyone do when they stay in bed longer? They fold their hands and cuddle in the warm blankets (Pr 6:10). They turn back and forth, like a door on its hinges (Pr 26:14). Their metabolism continues to drop, and they wonder why they are still so tired!

The danger is a little sleep. Those who oversleep a lot are obvious sluggards. Solomon worried about a little sleep. It is a little more sleep every morning that builds bad habits and steals time. He declared: “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread” (Pr 20:13). Do not hit the snooze button! Get up!

Ants make hills and homes, one grain of sand at a time. An extra thirty minutes in bed amounts to eight days lost each year. If you kept that up for a lifetime, you would waste a year and a half vegetating in bed. If you had worked those wasted minutes during working years and invested the earnings at 5%, in U.S. terms it comes to over $1 million!

No wonder Solomon wrote next that poverty would come as surely as a traveler gets to his destination and as surely as an armed man can rob an unarmed man. Poverty is your certain future, if you approach duties sluggishly. Poverty is an irresistible force, if you like to sleep. The lesson is a financial warning of the consequences of sleeping too much.

Great men and women get up and get to work. In agreement with this proverb, it has been said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” The virtuous woman rose early and stayed up late, not to be a martyr, but to be productive (Pr 31:15,18). Men and women that get up early and work hard always sleep better (Ec 5:12).

Attitude is more important than hours of sleep. A contented man that fears God, loves Jesus Christ, and is thankful for his job, gets up with excitement and zeal every day. He will not live any other way. He wants to get his hands on what he has to do, and he wants to do it with all his might (Ec 9:10). Do you have the right work attitude and work ethic?

A little spiritual slumber brings spiritual poverty. Just ask Peter, who could not watch one hour with Jesus in Gethsemane. If you do not make prayer and reading a priority each day, you will be spiritually bankrupt. Paul said, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Eph 5:14-21; Rom 13:11-12; I Thess 5:6-10).33