15 ¶ Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
The literal application of this verse is very obvious. Laziness does not normally produce wealth or provide one with food. People who are lazy to the extreme spend a lot of time doing nothing. We are to work hard and work smart and the person who will not work should not eat.
2Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
Since the New Testament church took care of each other this was a most valuable command to keep a sluggard from taking advantage of the church pantry. At a time when there was no government welfare and the church met the needs of its people as they were presented, it was important to keep individuals from being slothful. We are encouraged to work, not just to meet our own needs, as well.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Now, let’s go beyond just food. We have another type of food; our spiritual food. The slothful person is too spiritually asleep to feed himself with the words of God in the Bible. He is idle and can never seem to find the time to take in God’s words. For we know that;
Job 34:3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
And the man or woman of God is given instructions to read.
1Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
And to study.
2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The lazy Christian might be a hard worker in worldly things. He may feed his own flesh and his family’s needs very well. But, he has no interest in the word of God and is idle, lazy, and slothful. You know how hard it is to be alert after a good meal. You hear but you don’t really hear. You see but you don’t really see. Most Christians are like that all the time when it comes to things of God. How often do you read the Bible? How many times have you read it through? Can you recite verses? Any verses? When you hear a sermon do you listen? Do you think about what was said and the Biblical foundation of it?
The idle soul shall suffer hunger, a hunger of God’s word. How will you stand before Christ at His judgment seat (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10) and tell Him that you disregarded or despised His words that He preserved, that martyrs died for, and that some people in other countries read under the threat of torture and death? You don’t think you need to read the Bible much, do you? You are a fool. You need God’s word desperately. It’s the principal means by which He makes a Christian set apart and useful to Him.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
You say, I go to church frequently, sometimes four times a week. I hear God’s word preached. It is enough. Really? Do you only eat food four times a week? Are you not hungry in the morning after you sleep, at noon after a morning in the world, in the evening after a long day, and perhaps even for a snack before bed? I bet some of you even get up in the middle of the night by the looks of you to eat a meal. But, you’re not hungry for God’s word? Are you a Christian? Is it just a political ideal for you? Something to identify with that makes you feel good about yourself?
The lazy Christian, the slothful Christian, will find that his idle soul is hungry, and that he is spiritually asleep and easily deceived by every false man of God, every political demagogue of a pagan religion that pretends to be a Christian, and by every speaker of lies and distortions who tries to lead him to the slaughter like an animal. He knows only of God what others tell him and does not permit God to speak to Him through God’s words. Our nation is in deep trouble because of slothful, lazy Christians who would rather wave banners at a rally for their favorite power hungry liar of the month than to eat God’s words.
To American Christians, on the right, and on the left, I say;
Proverbs 6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
To the right, “you can’t reconcile Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness and greed to the Gospel”. To the left, “charity at the point of a gun is not charity, it is theft and extortion”. To the fundamentalist, “blindly following people who prey on you and manipulate you is not what Christ calls you to do, no matter what their philosophy”. To the modernist, “watering down and changing the word of God to get along with people God has condemned is a fake Christianity.” To all I say, read the Book. Hear the sermons. Study the word. Eat, drink it, swim in it, let it change your heart and change your life. Feed yourself. Be filled. Stop being so spiritually slothful and lazy.
I, personally, recommend to the Christian who has not been in the habit of reading the Bible to start with Ephesians and read through Philemon to get his marching orders for how he is to live each day. Read Romans through Galatians to keep the spirit of self righteousness and phariseeism from taking over. Read the Gospel of John to experience who Christ is. Read ALL of the Bible to understand God’s standards, His plans, and the importance of His words. And the great thing is, you can start today, right now even.