(9) How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
(10) Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
(11) So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. ~Jules Renard
Benjamin Franklin put is this way:
“Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.”
Eleanor Roosevelt said this about being lazy:
“So much attention is paid to the aggressive sins, such as violence and cruelty and greed with all their tragic effects, that too little attention is paid to the passive sins, such as apathy and laziness, which in the long run can have a more devastating effect.”
Enemies that Destroy:
Eleanor Roosevelt must have read the words of Solomon in chapter 6 of Proverbs when she wrote those words. In this chapter, Solomon is addressing three enemies that can have a devastating effect on a person financially, physically, morally, or spiritually:
- Unwise Financial Commitments (Proverbial Thought – Proverbs 6: 1-5)
- Laziness – Proverbs 6-11 (Proverbial Thought – Proverbs 6:6-8)
- Lust – Proverbs 20-35
When You Least Expect It
Verses 9 and 10 describe exactly who the lazy person is (a sluggard), while verse 11 explains what is going to happen to that person. While the sluggard is busy doing nothing – they become poor (thy poverty) and do not even realize it. I like the way verse 11 reads in the ESV – “and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
A robber is not going to call you up and tell you that he is about ready to invade your home and take everything from you. No, he is going to sneak into your house at a time that you least expect. Solomon is basically warning those people who are lazy and love their sleep that before you know it, you are going to lose everything.
A Cause of Poverty
There are a lot of people that are poor simply because they won’t work. There is work available, but they prefer or choose not to know about it. This is what the Bible says about those people:
- “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4 NIV).
- “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty” (Proverbs 20:13 NKJV)
Lord, please help your people not to be lazy. Help us to be worth our hire – to our employers and to You. Help us to strive to fulfill Ecclesiastes 9:10 – “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…”