Warning Against Laziness

Sheer laziness has probably been responsible for more shortcuts, not to mention valuable inventions, than we are ready to admit. Most of us are continually on the lookout, at least subconsciously, for easier ways to perform onerous or routine tasks. An example of imagination spur … More


Solomon warns about two practices that lead to poverty. The first talks about unnecessary loss of what you have earned and the second deals with the inability to earn any money at all.

Solomon is warning about a foolish financial entanglement referred to as surety (vv. 1-5). Surety is cosigning someone else’s debt if they fail to pay. Striking hands was a gesture something like shaking hands or in our day “signing on the dotted line.” It is an irresponsible form of generosity that places the cosigner in a financial position over which he has no control and should be avoided. The writer urges that anyone who may have agreed to be surety for another’s debt should seek to get out of that trap as soon as he can. One should free himself from such a debt agreement, even if it brings embarrassment. In fact not even one night should pass before the situation is taken care of.

We find a warning against laziness (vv. 6-11). A lazy, irresponsible  person is challenged to learn from the ant and be wise (v. 6). In  Palestine there is a species of ants which does not eat  meat, but feeds on grain and stores its food in harvest time for the coming winter. Apparently these ants had no leader to direct them or prod them. Yet they work better than many people under a leader! They worked in anticipation of future needs. It is a proper view of future needs that motivates a person to action. Poverty will come on the person who continues to nap when he ought to be working.


Come up with a list of work standards. This is a list of things I will and will not do as I go out into the market place . Also come up with a Scripture reference for each item on the list.

Proverbs 6:1-11 (English Standard Version)

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler. Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

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