Hard Work, Laziness and the Sovereignty of God

Continuing in a series on Proverbs & money. See all posts here.

Proverbs chapter 10:3-5
”The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.”
A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
Solomon, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, harmoniously joins together what are seemingly two counter-opposing forces, God’s active and present sovereignty over the provisions for his people (vs. 3), and the responsibility of mankind to work hard in providing for themselves (vs 4,5). God never instructs us to pit truth against truth. Do you see the two truths on display for us in the verses above? God, on the one hand, promises to feed the righteous one as only He can since He is sovereign Creator. Yet, in time and space God commands His children to work hard so that they have adequate stores for winter. We understand both of these truths by faith, trusting that our rich Father has enough to provide for our needs and trusting that His commands are to be obeyed.

It is therefore clear that the righteous will work hard to provide for the needs of their family and others, this is their obedience to God. The righteous realize that you must sacrifice now in order to receive reward later. The righteous till and toil over the soil in faithful hope of a future harvest. It is equally clear then that God will bless their efforts, even if the blessing in the here and now only extends to the basic necessities of life. With such, the righteous will be content.

Conversely, the wicked are always looking for the “fast” money. The foresight of the wicked never extends beyond the moment. Current comfort snuffs out their sacrifice for the future. Therefore, poverty and shame will come upon them as just reward for their failure to adhere to the commands of their Creator.

Do you see your diligence at work as first and foremost a matter of obedience to God? Do you see it as God’s gracious means of providing for your physical needs? Would others classify you as a diligent worker? In the words of Paul, make sure that you “obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord...” (Colossians 3)

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