Poverty is Thief

Proverbs 6:9-11 

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—11 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

Easy Money

There was a young man who started his own construction business while he was studying in college. Many years later, he showed a friend, “That road was my first major construction project.” He was very proud of his first project.

“You must have a lot of money while you’re still in college,” his friend said. With a wry answer he confessed, “Well, you know the saying, ‘Easy Money, Easy Go!’ Truly, I had much money back then, but I saved nothing. I spend them all!”

Someone suggested: “Plan and save money as if you were to live for thousand years, but perform your task as if it is your last few days on earth!”

That is very valuable principle to consider. Well, God has given us definite time to live on this world; short or long, we do not know. Some people die at a good old age, and others just enjoy life just for a little while. As Christians, we should live our life to glorify the Lord in everything we do, as long as we live!

How do you practically apply what Christ said in Matthew 6:19-21? 19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It requires wisdom to store up treasures. It requires wisdom also to choose which task earns more treasures. The Holy Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of wisdom. To maximize our time on earth and store up eternal treasure, we seek his help. Seriously pray to be filled with wisdom, before you go to sleep every night.

1. Sleep

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?

Normally, how many hours of sleep do you need to get enough rest and be refreshed? All of us, we need sleep to be refreshed. Eight hours of sleep had been recommended to have healthy body. Someone observed that if he sleeps for more than 8 hours, he would feel very tired, and he wants to sleep even more. Anyway, some individuals may sleep less than eight hours and still feel rested.

It’s critical to get enough sleep. So, when is sleeping considered as laziness?

It’s not laziness when sleep or rest is medically required when you’re sick.

When one is healthy and strong and spends extended time sleeping, that is laziness. The sluggard is just lazy to get up from extended sleep. Reflect on this: “Is it sinful to be lazy or sluggard?” “Is it unacceptable to the Lord if we are lazy?”

How can we relate laziness to what it declares in James 4:17? 17If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

It is good to be productive, right? It is also good to be responsible at work, right? Hence, if one is sluggard and does not perform any given task responsibly, it should be considered as sin for that person biblically. God had already decreed the punishment for sin. And, it is foolishness to intentionally commit sin.

Laziness is a relative of foolishness. It is foolish to be sluggard. How is that? Laziness places the sluggard under the punishment that God decreed for sin. Laziness causes the sluggard to miss the blessing of doing what is good and right.

By faith, we choose to do what is right because we are children of light!

Reflection: It admonishes us in Ephesians 5:8-17, 8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

With wisdom from the Lord, we will know his will by faith. One essential practice of godly wisdom is to spend extended time with the Scripture and listen to the Lord when he speaks through his word. When one does not spend much time with the word of God, is it considered as spiritual negligence or slumber?

2. Slumber

10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—11and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

Slumber is light sleep. It is often observed that church attendees slumber. They are drowsy; they doze. It is tempting to sleep lightly during sermon. Why?

Maybe, the voice of the preacher makes them feel relaxed. It’s possible that they are not interested in the topic. What can we do when dozing during sermon?

Close your eyes and pray. Confess to God that you feel sleepy and ask him to give you wisdom. Why wisdom and not rest? If God speaks during sermon, it is a wasted opportunity not to hear what the Lord says. But if the Lord has nothing to tell you at that time, it is possible that he may cause you to slumber and doze.

It is always favorable for us to be reminded by the admonition of the Lord in Revelation 3:14-22, 14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The Lord, the God of Truth, he declares that he rebukes and disciplines the one he loves. By faith, we expect and welcome it when God rebukes and disciplines us. In comparison, the foolish would despise admonitions and rebukes from the Lord, and they love it when they are flattered. To slumber is despise and insult to him indirectly; it is foolishness to sleep when the Lord speaks.

Reflection:  When the Lord had instructed us to store up treasure in heaven, it implies that God wants us to be productive and rich spiritually. He wants the best lifestyle for us. He knows how we can be productive practically and spiritually.

Pray for godly wisdom so that in everything we do would practically serve as opportunity for us to store up eternal treasure in heaven and not just treasure on earth. May God bless us to become blessing to him forever and ever.

><((‘> .. ><((‘> … ><(((“> tmec\2023 <“)))>< … <‘))>< .. <‘))><


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