Proverbs 6:6,9 ESV
“Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise…
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?”
What does it mean to be a sluggard? It means to be habitually lazy, which means to be idle, apathetic, unwilling to work and to use energy, inactive, unconcerned, and loafing. Now this can be physical and it can be spiritual and it can be both physical and spiritual.
And I think in this case that it is both someone who is generally unmotivated to do much of anything other than what is necessary to survive and maybe to watch movies and play games. And it is someone who is spiritually lazy and unmotivated to surrender his life to Christ and to walk in obedience to his commands, although he may profess faith in Jesus Christ.
And so the counsel here is to learn from the worker ant who is committed to working and planning and teamwork. She prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. So, the counsel is to cease to be lazy and to work. And this is both on a physical and spiritual level, for the two can go hand-in-hand, meaning that those who are truly sluggards are usually that way in all aspects of their lives, except in areas that bring them pleasure, perhaps.
Proverbs 6:12-15 ESV
“A worthless person, a wicked man,
goes about with crooked speech,
winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,
points with his finger,
with perverted heart devises evil,
continually sowing discord;
therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.”
And this, as well, goes hand-in-hand with someone who is both physically and spiritually slothful, unless it comes to something that gives him pleasure. Those who are not following the Lord in obedience, but who are going their own way, doing their own thing, living for the pleasures of the flesh and not for God are considered worthless in the eyes of God. And they are wicked and crooked and dishonest and not trustworthy, and they may be people who trick and deceive others, too, for their own advantage.
They are often those who plot evil on their beds, too, and who devise ways that they can do what they know is wrong, and what they know will hurt others, and what they know is contrary to God’s commands (New Covenant). For they are lazy and unmotivated and selfish and they are thinking only of themselves and their own comfort and enjoyment. And so they do what brings them pleasure even at the expense of others.
But it will all come back to bite them in the end. For the Scriptures teach that if we walk (in practice) according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, that we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God, and heaven will not be our eternal destiny. So, we can’t be spiritually lazy and not have concern for obeying the Lord or for treating others with love and respect and expect God to be pleased with us. If sin is our practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not our practice, it will not end well for us. And heaven will not be what awaits us in the end.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV
“There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.”
So, don’t be this way. Don’t let this be your practice and be your character. Surrender your lives to Jesus Christ today, die with him to sin, and now live to him and to his righteousness. For we are not saved and bound for heaven merely on a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We must walk the walk and not just talk it. We must live holy lives, pleasing to God, and walk in righteousness and not in sin, and walk in obedience to our Lord, in practice.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.
2 thoughts on “Wise Counsel for the Sluggard”
Thank you so much for sharing this. I will be honest that I sometimes struggle with laziness myself. I struggle to work hard on certain days. But this has really convicted my heart to do the things that I need to do. God does ask us to work hard, it is for his pleasure that we work hard. Anyways, something for the prayer journal. God bless you!
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Thank you for sharing that with me. Glory to God. I am glad you were encouraged by it.