Proverbs 24:30-34, NIV
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. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: 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
The Bible is full of parables – from beginning to end. We ignore them at our peril! This one speaks very directly to the sin of laziness and the writer reaches the correct conclusion from what he saw – that the man who sleeps when he should have been working will soon end up in poverty. This message is obvious, the advice in the message is life-saving.
In the work that we do, however, we come across many people who may be very diligent in working for money, but are careless about the way they live their lives. They know there are issues they need to address, the weeds that have dulled their sensitivity to the voice of God and the broken down defences (the walls), through which the enemy has gained access on many occasions. But they have ignored the obvious signs and carried on regardless of the dangers all around them.
They say to themselves – one day, I’ll get to it! But, spiritually, they behave like the sluggard in the parable who never attended to the essentials when caring for his vineyard. Just as surely as the physically lazy man will end up in poverty, the spiritually lazy person will soon become vulnerable – not to armed bandits, but something much worse! For, as Peter tells us so graphically, in 1 Peter 5:8, “the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour”.
Let us not follow the example of the ‘vineyard sluggard’, but choose now to get out of our chairs and tackle any vital issues we have been putting off, before it’s too late.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that your word reminds me of the need to be diligent in the ’vineyard of my life’ Help me to see where the weeds are growing and the walls are broken down and do something about them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.