Proverbs – News From The Source–Industrious, Diligent, Hardworking, Conscientious
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, parovideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yeta little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” Proverbs 6:6-11 KJV
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!—which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler, provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest. How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to lie down and sleep—so will your poverty come like a robber or one who travels [with slowly but surely approaching steps] and your want like an armed man [making you helpless].” Proverbs 6:6-11 AMP
“You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest!” Proverbs 6:6-11 THE MESSAGE
If there is any message that wisdom teaches it is the importance of diligence and hard work. It used to be an American value that set us part from many other nations. Having a strong work ethic and being ruggedly independent was the motivation that inspired entrepreneurship in the peak years of the so-called industrial revolution of the 19thand 20thcenturies. It was the motivation of the pioneer spirit that caused people to leave their poverty and want in densely populated metropolitan cities of the Northeast and the depressed economic conditions of the central and southern parts to the country, and head west seeking their fortunes in the gold rush days.
Laziness was despised, slothfulness was condemned and every man’s character was measured in part by his resourcefulness and conscientiousness. Success was measured by character, Godly values, common sense, (when good sense was commonly possessed by most) by blood, sweat, and tears, personal sacrifice and courageousness, not merely by the momentary condition of a bank account.
This is God’s way, exemplified in the diligence of the ant.
Some of us will remember the childhood story of the ant and the grasshopper. The grasshopper was anything but diligent and conscientious. All summer he played and rested while the ant was busy storing up provisions for the winter and building his house and a network of passages and places to store his food underground. When the winter came the grasshopper was desperately trying to find food for himself and his family but the grasshooper and his family were living warm and cozy in his well-supplied underground villa.
The scriptures gives us a sterner more important warning, that laziness and too much idle time will lead to poverty and want.
The young man is strongly admonished to act diligently and keep his hands applied to useful works that will bring benefits and rewards in due season. The farmer sows his seeds generously to reap an abundant harvest. The herdsman and shepherd keep diligent watch over their flocks. The wise steward manages his master’s house with honesty, integrity, and diligence. The disciple of Jesus handles the Word of God skillfully in order to do The Father’s will, to be blessed and to be a blessing to all.