The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!” As the door turns on its hinges, so does the sluggard on his bed. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is weary of bringing it to his mouth again. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer (Prov 26:13-16). These powerful images provide a strong warning concerning the sin of laziness. This passage, and other warnings in the book of Proverbs, cause us to reflect upon God’s call to us be hard workers who possess much initiative.
- The sluggard has an endless list of excuses that keep him from work (v. 13). – The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!” In other words, he cannot leave the house to go to work because it’s too dangerous (“Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my!”).
- The sluggard expends more energy turning over in his bed than he does in making himself productive (v. 14). – As the door turns on its hinges, so does the sluggard on his bed. This guy has absolutely no ambition. In fact, the most activity this bum strains himself to accomplish is changing positions in his bed or on the family room couch. Perhaps he lost the remote.
- The sluggard loves to eat, but hates to work (v. 15). – The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is weary of bringing it to his mouth again. This poor fellow does not even have enough energy to feed himself.
- The sluggard is much too smart to listen to admonishment from others (v. 16) – The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer. Seven men who rebuke him will not be heard. “Nobody understands” his unique situation.
- The sluggard is wasteful and negligent (12:27). – A slothful man does not roast his prey. But the precious possession of a man is diligence. And Proverbs 24:30-31 adds, I passed by the field of the sluggard, and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense; and behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles, its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.
4 RESULTS OF LAZINESS
- The sluggard’s goals will never be achieved and he will always be in need (21:25-26). – The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, for his hands refuse to work; all day long he is craving, while the righteous gives and does not hold back.
- The sluggard’s position will be one of bondage (12:24). The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor.
- The sluggard’s wallet will be empty and his stomach hungry (20:13) – Do not love sleep, lest you become poor; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.
- The sluggard’s life will be very hard, by his own choice (15:19). The way of the sluggard is as a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.
If laziness, and lack of motivation or initiative, is a sin you struggle with then it is time to “Go to the ant…and learn her ways” (Prov 6:6-11).