Consider the Ant, O Sluggard!

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Reading the Word

Proverbs 6:6–11 (ESV)

6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.
7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,
8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

Understanding the Word

Today’s verses address the issue of laziness. We are told that we should observe the way the ant works. Even without leadership, the ant prepares for the year ahead. We must always be in preparation for what the future holds.

The sluggard, or the lazy person, is not like the ant. Instead of looking ahead and preparing, the lazy person is always a step or more behind. Priority is given to leisure rather than to work and preparation. Suddenly, without warning, the lazy person finds himself in poverty because he has fallen so far behind in the necessary work.

Life is about finding the proper balance of work and leisure. There is a time for both. We must work to provide for the present and future. And we must take time from work to appreciate all that God has given us. Both work and leisure can become idols and ruin lives. Let us strive to find the right balance.

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