Meditation on being a sluggard:
“Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.” Proverbs 20:4
There are many dichotomies in Proverbs: rich and poor, wise and foolish, the diligent and the sluggard.
The diligent understand the value of discipline and consistent work.
“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
A sluggard is a person who is habitually inactive or lazy, a dawdler and an idler, someone who doesn’t understand the value of the day in and day out of daily obedience.
A farmer has a lot to do and appointed times to do it. He has to till the soil and drop the seeds. One by one. One by one. He tends the crop. He prays for rain. Day after day after day he cares for the crop. He waits and waits for the harvest.
What does the sluggard do? Rather, what does he not do?
The sluggard does not plow, but wait, the verse doesn’t say that. It says he doesn’t plow in season. So he doesn’t plow at the right time. Maybe he plowed when he felt like it. Maybe he just talked about plowing. The point is, there is a right time to plow. There is a right time to sow the seed and it takes diligence and patience.
But the next phrase reveals another aspect of the sluggard. At harvest time, he looks.
At harvest time he looks.
So this time the sluggard goes out at the right time, at harvest time. He is looking for something. He is expecting to find something. Maybe he thinks he has done enough to produce a crop? I don’t know. But he’s looking and expecting to get something from the little he’s done.
The sluggard is obviously deceived. He thinks that the little he’s done will produce something. But it won’t. It can’t. He hasn’t put in the diligent and daily obedience to get a harvest.
“I passed by the field of the sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. 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.” Proverbs 24:30-34