Laziness and Hard work

Taken from the Illustrated Study Bible

“I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.” Proverbs 24:30-34, NLT

 Proverbs pokes fun at lazy people. They are sarcastically compared to a door that swings back and forth (26:14), and lampooned for their empty excuses (e.g., 22:13). Proverbs equates lazy people with the foolish; their lack of productivity leads to poverty and death (6:6‑10; 10:26; 15:19; 18:9; 19:15, 24; 20:4; 21:25; 22:13; 24:30‑34; 26:13‑16). By contrast, diligent people are seen as wise; their activities lead to wealth and life (10:4‑6; 12:11; 13:4; 14:4; 20:13; 31:10‑27).

The theme of laziness arises in the contrast between the two women, Wisdom and Folly (ch 9). The virtuous woman of ch 31 reflects the industriousness of Wisdom (31:16‑18).

While it is true that ultimate meaning and fulfillment do not come from hard work (Eccl 2:17‑26), the lazy are still condemned (Eccl 4:5‑6). God created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden to tend it, not just to sit back and enjoy it (Gen 2:15). Proverbs and the whole of Scripture support the truth that work is not a result of the Fall but rather is a dignified and important part of creation.

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