Sluggards, mockers, and meddlers!
Scripture reading for July 9th: Proverbs 18-21
When we lived in Washington State near Olympia for six years, we experienced slugs for the first time. After a rain, which was almost daily during the 8 month rainy season, the slugs came out, crawling on the sidewalks. They left slimy trails and if you picked them up, you felt slimy too! They did not move very fast but inched along like a snail. I imagine that the sluggard in the Bible is named after that slow and slimy animal!
The Bible talks more about the sin of laziness than that of drunkenness. Proverbs 19:15 says that laziness and sleeping go together and the result is a shiftless man who goes hungry! We are warned in Proverbs 20:13 about loving sleep. It will result in poverty! This lazy man is called a “sluggard” in Proverbs 19:24. This verse accuses the “sluggard” of being so lazy that he cannot even feed himself! He puts his fork in the dish but is too lazy to bring the food to his mouth! Now that’s lazy! The sluggard is always craving but never satisfied because he refuses to work! In Proverbs 23:13 the sluggard is shouting “there’s a lion outside” or “I will be murdered in the streets.” His excuses to keep from working or leaving his bed are ridiculous!
One of my personal favorites is from Proverbs 24:30-34. In these verses, the field of a sluggard is in focus. Thorns, representing the curse of Adam, are growing everywhere. The ground is covered with weeds and the protective wall is in ruin. The lesson is that laziness and too much sleeping instead of working leads to scarcity and poverty. This is the truth in practical terms!
The mocker is the next term dealt with in today’s reading. A mocker is someone who makes fun of God’s Word and ways, preferring to do things his own way. Mockers deserve flogging because they lead others astray. (Proverbs 19:25, 29) Mockers are often involved in drinking and mock when they are drunk with wine or beer. (Proverbs 20:1) Proverbs 21:24 names the proud and arrogant man “mocker”. Mockers are fools because they lack discernment and fail to value God or His Word! God’s Word says to drive out the mocker to remove strife, quarrels and insults! (Proverbs 22:10)
Meddling in affairs that are not yours is also spoken against in this book of wisdom. Proverbs 20:3 states that it is a man’s honor to avoid strife and quarreling. Proverbs 20:19 warns against gossip and meddling as a source of trouble. Guarding your mouth and tongue will keep you from calamity! (Proverbs 21:23) We are to seldom set our foot in our neighbor’s house because with too much of us, he will end up hating us! (Proverbs 25:17) If you want to really get into trouble, meddle in a quarrel that is not your own! It will be like taking a dog by it’s ears! (Proverbs 26:17)
Sluggards, mockers and meddlers are warned against in the wisdom of God! Evaluate your own life and take appropriate action before it’s too late! Poverty, beatings, and a Doberman Pincer by the ears should be warning enough!