Thursday, September 8, 2011

Proverbs 24:30-34 commentary; the field of the slothful

30 ¶ I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. 32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. 33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

The final verse of this passage was repeated in chapter 6.

6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Clearly, this is another take on the evils of laziness. God apparently doesn’t approve of slothful behavior and attitudes. On the surface it is a great lesson to be learned. But, look at this from the perspective of the laziness of American Christians. As a rule, they don’t have family devotions and family prayer and Bible reading. Just as the parent’s basic responsibility of educating their children is left up to the state so the primary responsibility of teaching God’s word is left entirely up the the church. When was the last time you prayed with your spouse on your knees? When was the last time you had your own prayer meeting with your family?

People talk about the “old time religion” and then extol the virtures of a Christian faith that existed around 1900 in rural areas. But, that’s not old time. Just because you come to church whenever the door is open and all your social activities revolve around church. You tithe of your weekly paycheck. You don’t smoke, drink, or swear, you wear the right lapel pin, vote for the right political party, listen to the right music, and you don’t watch anything on TV or in the movies that is overtly sexual or full of foul language. So what? What does that have to do with having a Christian family? Or being a Christian?

Christian, there are thorns and briars in your family. Some of you have even invited the Devil into your home and given him a place of honor. You watch movies about death, destruction, and all the things God says He hates, as entertainment. I don’t care one whit if it’s a war movie and the good guys win and you think that teaches a great moral lesson. You are watching violence and mayhem as ENTERTAINMENT. You celebrate death just like the heathen that lives next door. Or your horror movies. They’re so laced with hidden sexual references and violent sexual imagery that not one piece of clothing needs to come off nor one foul word uttered for them to be wicked, and they’re full of ungodly violence. These are windows into Hell or doors from Hell into your home, violent, bloody testimonies to a spiritual life infested with devils.

The family is your first mission field. Your family is the field of the slothful, a vineyard of a man void of understanding, with a broken down wall. You are supposed to be like a husbandman, a gardener tending God’s garden, like Adam.

Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Instead of coming home bawling about what a jerk the boss is or the person who cut you off in traffic you should be praising God for the opportunity to earn a living and thanking Him for safety. Your children should hear God’s praises coming out of your mouth for being born in a country where you’re much freeer than in many other places in time and geography not blistering the President or the political party you think is deliberately trying to destroy the country. Did you know that when Wednesday night prayer services were started according to “Protestant Worship: Traditions in Transition” by James White it was to give the congregation a chance to pray for things that concerned them and to give the fathers a pattern for family prayer at home where even the children could bring their concerns and praise before God?

Do you know that in the real “old time religion” in this country, back in the days when the King James Bible was called “The Common Bible” that Christian families read the Bible together, prayed together, and that father taught the Bible to the children. There was no Sunday School in those days. Learning about God was the family’s responsibility. You came to church to worship God corporately as the body of Christ. It wasn’t a place to hide out. What we’ve done is to separate our lives so much that church is for God and home is for whatever floats your boat.

Our gardens are full of weeds and brambles. Our children go off to drinking and carousing and perhaps ruining their lives and the lives of their own children with no thought of actually how to live outside of what they are told on TV or hear from their radio or music player. Church has little impact in American Christian’s lives because the sermons are all about politics, attendance, or tithing or even perhaps how to get what you want out of life and there is little instruction on how to experience the power of God on your life through His word.

You’ve got a Sunday night service where the Pastor quotes the Bible and then someone in the pew says that their version doesn’t say that and then another and finally the Pastor says he’ll run to the office and see what “The Greek” says. You’ve got an extreme fundamentalist Pastor telling his congregation that they must beat their children regularly to “break their will” whether they’ve done wrong or not. You’ve got another Pastor speaking before a crowd of thousands talking about their self-esteem. This dog and pony show that is modern American Christianity is so unbiblical and so far off the rails it’s pathetic. The Laodicean, the people judge, Church Age is upon us.

We’re lazy Christians. We don’t read the Bible.

1Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

We don’t pray.

1Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

We don’t like uniting with a church body in worship and fellowship.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We don’t want to hold family devotions, prayer, and Bible reading.

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

We live in the field of the slothful, in the vineyard of a man void of understanding. It is covered with thorns and brambles and its wall is broken down. There is as much drug addiction and alcoholism, divorce and perversion among professing Christians as there is among the unbelieving population. In fact, many studies show that in the so called Bible Belt pornography is more popular than in the more liberal states. God is judging us now. Can we even see that or are we too spiritually lazy?

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