Idleness: A Son That Brings Shame


You may be wondering why I am posting so much on “idleness”.  The reason is because this is something that God is dealing with me on personally and has become an earnest desire in my heart to share with my brethren for their edification.  It seems to me that if we were to examine ourselves honestly, we would find that many of us have become like the Laodicean Church in that we think that we are “rich and have need of nothing“, but do not know that we have become destitute and naked.

So, this is something that I earnestly desire to exhort and admonish the brethren from my heart.


2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death. 3 The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked. 4 He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. 5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son; he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame. ~Proverbs 10:2-5

This is a very prophetic proverb set in the frame of the treasures of wickedness versus the righteousness that delivers from death (v2). It is not set in the frame of vanity and earthly riches, rather, Solomon says that the desires of the wicked the LORD will cast off!

One of the grandest promises of the entire scripture is witnessed in this proverb when Solomon writes that “the LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish” (v3). It is this promise that Jesus gave and blessed when He said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). What great mercy, what abundant grace we have received in Christ! But how is it that so many today are lukewarm, wretched, miserable, and poor? Does not James reveal to us that “you ask and do not receive because you ask amiss that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3)? The LORD says that the treasures of wickedness profit nothing and He will surely cast away the desires of the wicked! Surely if our hunger and thirst were for righteousness we would be filled? Surely the Lord shall not allow the righteous soul to famish?

Most assuredly this proverb reveals one of the greatest causes of spiritual poverty in our generation: “He who has a slack hand becomes poor” (v4). This is why the Lord showed us that our perspective on idleness is important because we have been looking at idleness from a very fleshly perspective that He does not share. We have to see our spiritual idleness and realize that our hands have become very slack because we have set our hands to carousing and filled our hearts with idleness!

Jesus said, My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” ~John 4:34–36. How easily we set our minds on the things of this world like food, and apply our hands and give our diligence to laboring for a perishing harvest, all the while the fields already white for harvest lay neglected! What a grievous travesty that the fields and souls white for the harvest lay neglected because our hands have become slack with idleness! Will we sit idly by while such a thing happens? Shall we watch as the enemy steals, kills, and destroys? It sometimes seems to me that the enemy has more zeal to destroy the harvest than we sometimes have to labor in it!

Jesus said that we have enough wisdom to say, “look, the harvest is coming”, yet, behold! The fields are white for the harvest! My food, He said, is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work! He told them that there are wages for eternal life to be gathered so that both they that sowed and they that reaped may rejoice together! These are not wages “of” eternal life, an error in teaching eternal life as wages owed, but these are wages “for” eternal life! Brethren, we can be so painfully shortsighted on this. Oh how I earnestly pray that the Father would stamp eternity on our eyeballs! Oh how I pray that we would come to the Lord and buy eye-salve to anoint our eyes that we would see! I tell you that there is going to be weeping on that day when each one’s work is revealed by fire and we suffer loss (1st Corinthians 3:13-15)! As the scripture says, “the sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold, therefore, shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty!” (Prov. 20:5) What is to be the judgment of the lazy servant who awakes to the masters return and finds that he has not gathered anything (Luke 19:20-25)?

But the proverb says, “He who gathers in summer is a wise son; he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame(v5). Yes, the son who sleeps during the harvest is sure to cause shame; great is the iniquity of abundant idleness, and unending is the sin that breeds in it! Surely there is no end to the adulterous eyes of one sleeping in abundant idleness. There is no lack of shame where idleness is to be found; from the spiritual poverty it is sure to bring, to the great sin that breeds in it, where there is a son who has forsaken diligence for idleness, there shame is waiting to be uncovered.


If I could do anything here now, it would be to give an exhortation to you:

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober (self-controlled), be vigilant (watchful); because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.~1st Peter 5:6-8

Brothers, strengthen your resolve and be self-controlled in your mind, body, and soul. Gird yourselves now knowing the time. Do not settle for emptiness but humble yourselves before God that in due time He may lift you up.  

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