13 ¶ The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets. 14 ¶ As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. 15 ¶ The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth. 16 ¶ The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
I am including the slothful man and the sluggard here as they are very similar. The slothful man and the sluggard are very lazy and make excuses for their inaction. We’ve discussed several Proverbs dealing with them before.
The slothful man makes up unlikely excuses to justify not being diligent and hardworking. He’s too lazy even to prepare and cook his own food he took in hunting.
Proverbs 12:27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
The sluggard makes excuses for not working as well.
Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
These Proverbs point out how the lazy person makes excuses for not working. I think everyone can understand this idea.
Leaving the normal, literal views of these verses which are most certainly true, let’s look at a spiritual application of the last verse; the one mentioning the sluggard. Here, he is said to be “wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.” In spite of his laziness and unwillingness to do anything for himself the sluggard regards himself as the only person really “in the know”. He is wiser in his own mind than many counselors who can answer and debate weighty questions.
The Christian sluggard will not feed himself on God’s word. He won’t read the Bible and depends on all of his Godly wisdom from the preacher on Sunday, if the sluggard shows up to hear. He won’t avail himself of the Bible’s self defining qualities or its dispensational arrangement of books but will immediately run to a commentator or a famous preacher’s opinion on even the smallest matter. He refuses to cross reference verses and can’t tell you that an angel doesn’t have wings and is an appearance of someone or something who is somewhere else but can act as if, and for all practical purposes, is that individual, church, or country (Isaiah 63:9; Judges 2:1; Daniel 9:21 with Luke 1:26, Revelation 21:17; Galatians 4:14; Acts 27:23). He can’t tell you that “given by inspiration” is not dictation but understanding and wisdom and guidance (Job 32:8; 2 Peter 3:15; 2 Peter 1:21). The sluggard has been told that angels have wings and that God told the Bible writers every individual word to use. The sluggard refuses to check it out.
The sluggard thinks the angels sang in Luke 2:13, 14 because he was told so. He thinks the word “rapture” is somewhere in the Bible and that the word “antichrist” is found in the book of Revelation and doesn’t even know what the definition of “antichrist” is as per 1 John 2:22. He thinks these things because he’s been told to think them. He thinks the one that “overcometh” in Revelation is the one who follows all the rules and doesn’t sin rather than the definition of what it means to “overcometh” given clearly in 1 John 5:5. Why? He won’t read himself. He or she wants be spoonfed their ideology by someone who graduated from a seminary throwing definitions of Bible words, doctrines, and expressions at them that aren’t from the Bible.
The sluggard will stop, as soon as someone he’s talking to insists he or she is saved and goes to another church. He wouldn’t think of helping that Christian out with CD’s or books to further them along and edify them because, one, they may be already saved so he can’t get the glory he wants, and, two, they already meet with a church so he can’t get credit for getting them in the door.
The sluggard will tell you something about the Bible you know isn’t true and when cornered he or she might admit that a preacher told them that. They don’t really know themselves. They’ve never searched into it. I had a sluggard tell me one time that 1 John 5:7 wasn’t “in the Greek.” I asked him, “which Greek, as there are over two dozen Greek texts composed of readings from many different manuscripts which go into Bible translations?” All he finally could say was that a former preacher of his told him that.
The sluggard will not avail himself or herself of the power of God’s words because it requires effort. He’d rather sit passively in the pew or watch a preacher on TV or listen to one on the radio, and feel smugly self satisfied, in his ignorance, that he knows all.
Try not to be a sluggard. When was the last time that you seriously gave consideration to what your preacher said when you left the building in which the church meets? When was the last time you asked your children at a meal after church what they got out of the sermon? When was the last time you prayed for everyone in your church body by name, the names you know? When was the last time you meditated on a verse or verses you memorized just for that purpose or maybe a verse you just know from repeating it many times? We have far too many spiritual sluggards in American Christianity.