Today we will cover the next 6 verses in this sixth chapter of Proverbs. They speak to people about being constructive and active in their lives. The writer uses the ant and a “sluggard” or “vagrant” as examples to get his point across to the readers. Here are today’s verses:
Proverbs 6: 6 - 11
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest-
11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.
[Footnote: Or like a vagrant / and scarcity like a beggar]
The online dictionary defines the word “sluggard” as: A slothful person; an idler, a very lazy person. The reader is urged to look at the way the ant lives. It doesn’t have any kind of leader or ruler over it to tell it what to do, yet it is constantly working during the seasons that it can, to store things for provisions for later. It shows wisdom in this way.
These verses warn people not to be slothful and lazy, but to work when the opportunity presents itself so that provisions are made for themselves and their families to live. It goes on to say, in verse 11, that if you are lazy and sleep your life away, so to speak, then suddenly (come on you like a bandit) you will find yourself living in poverty. The footnote says that in the original language, the words used here mean “scarcity like a beggar.”
This is speaking to people who are lazy, not those that are trying to do the best they can to take care of things and are having a hard time of it. If we are trying to follow Christ in all we do, then He will open the doors to us to do the jobs that we need in His perfect timing. We do need to keep our eyes and ears open, be trying, and not just laying back and expecting God to do everything for us. If we are working hard at what we have been given to do, then more and more opportunities will be given to us, in His time.