Pondering our Christianity? So, how about speaking of Spiritual Laziness? Pondering our Excuses? Proverbs 24

Proverbs 24:30-34 Amplified Bible

30 
I went by the field of the lazy man,
And by the vineyard of the man lacking understanding and common sense;
31 
And, behold, it was all overgrown with thorns,
And nettles were covering its surface,
And its stone wall was broken down.
32 
When I saw, I considered it well;
I looked and received instruction.
33 
“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest [and daydream],”
34 
Then your poverty will come as a robber,
And your want like an armed man.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Our text in Proverbs 24 speaks of the sluggard, the slothful man, the man too lazy to work.

What is the biblical meaning of the word sluggard?

a habitually lazy person.

What kind of person is a sluggard?

A sluggard is a lazy, sleepy, slow-moving person. A sluggard is likely to oversleep and even snooze through class or work. If you’re alert and hard-working, no one will ever call you a sluggard or a slug. Being a sluggard is a great way to fail a class, lose a job, go broke or just fall behind in general.

I want us to think about this subject and apply it to the Christian life.

Why talk about Laziness in the “Christian Life”?

Because I am convinced there are too many lazy Christians in the Body of Christ.

Lazy in what way?

Lazy in worship and work.

What am I talking about?

It should be obvious. Some of us are not faithful in their church attendance.

Acts 2:43-47 Amplified

43 A sense of awe was felt by [a]everyone, and many wonders and signs (attesting miracles) were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed [in Jesus as Savior] [b]were together and had all things in common [considering their possessions to belong to the group as a whole]. 45 And they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing the proceeds with all [the other believers], as anyone had need. 46 Day after day they met in the temple [area] continuing with one mind, and breaking bread in various private homes. They were eating their meals together with joy and generous hearts, 47 praising God continually, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord kept adding to their number daily those who were being saved.

It should be obvious. Some of us are not faithful in their Bible Reading.

Psalm 119:9-16 Amplified

Beth.


How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to Your precepts].

10 
With all my heart I have sought You, [inquiring of You and longing for You];
Do not let me wander from Your commandments [neither through ignorance nor by willful disobedience].

11 
Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

12 
Blessed and reverently praised are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
13 
With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
14 
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.

15 
I will meditate on Your precepts
And [thoughtfully] regard Your ways [the path of life established by Your precepts].

16 
I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

It should be obvious. Some of us are not faithful in their Study of Scriptures.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 Amplified

10 Now you have diligently followed [my example, that is] my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, 11 persecutions, and sufferings—such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, but the Lord rescued me from them all! 12 Indeed, all who delight in pursuing righteousness and are determined to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be hunted and persecuted [because of their faith]. 13 But evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced [holding tightly to the truths], knowing from whom you learned them, 15 and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings (Hebrew Scriptures) which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus [surrendering your entire self to Him and having absolute confidence in His wisdom, power and goodness]. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; 17 so that the [a]man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

It should be obvious. Some of us are not faithful in teaching their children.

Proverbs 22:6 Amplified:

Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents],
Even when he is old, he will not depart from it.

It should be obvious. Some of us are far too wise in their own eyes.

We are either lazy, indifferent or perhaps distracted by other things – like maybe making one too many excuses to excuse away our sluggard ways.

Proverbs 3:1-8 Amplified

The Rewards of Wisdom

My son, do not forget my [a]teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;


For length of days and years of life [worth living]
And tranquility and prosperity [the wholeness of life’s blessings] they will add to you.


Do not let mercy and kindness and truth leave you [instead let these qualities define you];
Bind them [securely] around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.


So, find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.


Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.


[b]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].


Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.


It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts]
And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.

And the same principles hold for our Christian service or Christian work.

Proverbs 6:6-11 Amplified


Go to the ant, O lazy one;
Observe her ways and be wise,

Which, having no chief,
Overseer or ruler,

She prepares her food in the summer
And brings in her provisions [of food for the winter] in the harvest.

How long will you lie down, O lazy one?
When will you arise from your sleep [and learn self-discipline]?
10 
“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to lie down and rest”—
11 
So, your poverty will come like an approaching prowler who walks [slowly, but surely]
And your need [will come] like an armed man [making you helpless].

Let’s consider three thoughts about the sluggard.

From Proverbs 24:30-34

1- His nature is evident (30-31)

2- His failure is applied (32)

3- His life is poor (33-34)

I. HIS NATURE IS EVIDENT TO ANYONE OBSERVING THE BEHAVIOR

V. 30-31 “I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.”

The writer was saying, “I went past the field of the sluggard and SAW…”

He SAW the thorns and the weeds that had grown up.

He saw the apparent evidence of the man’s apparent laziness.

Missionary Hudson Taylor once said: “If your father and mother, your sister and brother, if the very cat and dog in the house, are not happier for your being Christian, it is a question whether you really are.”

The nature of a person is evident in the way they live, the things they do, the words they speak, etc. A lazy person’s life speaks for itself.

The nature of the Christian is evident in the way they live, the things they do, the words they speak, the ways they act and interact and relate and connect.

A spiritually lazy Christian’s life will inevitably speak of, for itself, by itself.

II. HIS FAILURE IS APPLIED

V. 32 “I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.”

In his first sermon, the new preacher at the church in Lexington, Kentucky preached against gambling on horses.

Sometime later a deacon and several laity, came to him and said, “Folks didn’t appreciate that sermon. A lot of horses are raised in this part of the country.”

The next Sunday he preached about the evils of smoking. Again, that same deacon and those same laity pulled him aside and said, “Too many folks in these parts make their living growing tobacco. You can’t preach about that.”

The third Sunday came, and he preached against the evils of drinking whiskey, only to be told by that same deacon, those same laity that there was a large still less than a mile from the church and many church members worked there.

The frustrated preacher said, “Well, what in the world can I preach about?” The deacon and the laity said, “Preach against those heathen men from Mars. There isn’t a single one of them within a hundred thousand million miles of us.”

The next week the frustrated preacher delivered a well thought out message from John 3:16. What can go wrong preaching from this old familiar favorite?

The Deacon and the laity all shook hands with the minister after the service. “That was a wonderful sermon, the best we ever heard!” they told him, “– just wonderful. Everything said applies to someone I know. (But, not really to us)”

The spiritually lazy person is quick to point his finger at someone else, saying, “We have known for a long time that So and so needed to hear that sermon,” but they may never consider applying the truth of a sermon for their own life.

James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” KJV

The whole point of scripture is our diligent and disciplined application of it.

How does this passage or that passage apply to me, to my life?

The Word of God is not just meant to educate us but also to change us.

“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.” I applied to MY heart what I saw, and “I” learned a lesson from what I saw.

Now, not only should we try to apply the Word of God to our lives, but also the mistakes of others. When we hear the excuses, see the mistakes of others, we should learn a lesson. WE SHOULD LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS!

III. HIS LIFE IS POOR

V. 33-34 “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.”

Poverty in some form comes to the person who is lazy.

The case of the farmer in Proverbs 24, he might not have a crop, consequently, have no money with which to support family. No money, no food on the table.

Do you realize that doing little or nothing can get you into trouble?

ILLUSTRATION.

A man lived in a very low-lying area near a river. A man in a jeep drove up one day, said, “This area is about to be flooded. You need to get out of here!”

The man replied, “I’ll just stay here, trust the Lord to take care of me.” Soon the rush of water was swirling around his front porch as he sat in his rocking chair.

Soon after that, a man came by in a boat, saying, “You need to get out of here. The water is moving in faster and getting higher and higher.” The man replied, “I’ll be okay. I’m just going to sit here in my rocking chair trust in the Lord.”

Finally, the man ended up on his roof because of the rising water.

It had already flooded his house. Suddenly, a helicopter appeared overhead and lowered a chair so he could be taken to safety. He shouted back, “It’s okay. I’ll stay here in my faithful rocking chair. I’m trusting the Lord to take care of me.”

Well, the faithful chair floated away, and the man drowned and in heaven, he complained to the Lord He hadn’t taken care of him. And the Lord said, “Hey! I sent you a jeep, a boat, a helicopter. WHAT ELSE DID YOU WANT ME TO DO?”

Several very Christian applications can be made to this most familiar story but the one I want to make is this: Doing nothing will get you into trouble! Doing nothing with a person’s life will get them into trouble: trouble with the law, and trouble with their family and neighbors, they may all become poverty-stricken!

2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

That is the rule of God, but it is also pretty much the standard rule of life.

If we don’t work, we won’t eat.

If we are not being the Body of Christ, loving God, devotedly, and diligently, prayerfully, prudently, ministering to our neighbors in God’s neighborhood,

In fact, quite a few others may not have any friends, “manna” to eat, clothes to wear, to have a bed to sleep in and a house to live in! Laziness leads to poverty!

“Sluggards” and their laziness always leads to trouble in some form or another.

It’s been said that idleness is the devil’s workshop.

That is a workshop that is always best left empty and absolutely left abandoned.

Besides you get nothing accomplished for the edifying of the kingdom of God!

Since when has that ever been a sound biblical principle, we should ever desire?

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

King of Kings, Lord of Lords, thank you that you are great and abundant in power, your charity and understanding is beyond measure. In your greatest wisdom, you have created the church, described as Christ’s body. May we work cease from our laziness, come together as members of one body, using the gifts and abilities you have given us to faithfully love and serve one another. Would we find our strength from Jesus, the head of the body. May the Lord make us increase and abound in thy love for each other. May you establish our hearts as blameless in holiness before you. Through Jesus Christ, our Savior, Amen.

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Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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