Listen to “Daily Devotional 9/8/2020 To Work or Not to Work, That is the Question” on Spreaker.
Daily Devotion of Proverbs 13
The writing style of showing the results of good versus bad behavior and decisions continue through this chapter. As in the previous Proverbs, one can see the blessings of godly wisdom in contrast to the consequences of ungodly thinking and behavior.
One temptation discussed in previous Proverbs and in this chapter is that of the attraction and control wealth has on people (Proverbs 13:4, 7-9, 11, 18, 22). There is much wisdom found throughout this chapter about the priority, desire for, and possession of wealth.
We see, as most have discovered to be true in this life, that the lazy (“sluggard”) will have nothing. They may have an occasional shiny bauble, but their slothfulness will limit them from succeeding and being prosperous.
“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” Prov. 13:4
“Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.” Prov. 13:18
The desire of many to have everything given to them will waste their potential and bring destruction to them and those they expect to pay for their lives of leisure. God’s plan is for all to work to achieve possessions and self-respect. Work brings prosperity, fulfillment, and self-worth. Those living off of handouts will never experience those feelings of pride and accomplishment that working gives. Work for many is a way to be fulfilled, a means to better one’s self, and a means to have what one desires. Hard work is embraced and desired by many. It is their means to happiness and one of their purposes in this life.
Work to others it is a four-lettered word that saddens them and is something that they avoid as much as they can. Many have so much disdain for hard work that much of modern civilization is geared around ways to have the benefits of labor without actually doing any hard work.
Instead of dreaming to be a carpenter, doctor, nurse, or one with a fulfilled future, many are dreaming of winning the lottery, getting someone else to do their work for them, taking advantage of government handouts and getting all they can from someone else’s hard earned money, deceiving someone out of their money, and countless other schemes of getting their “needs” met without laboring for them. Laziness has become a way of life and the dream “job” for many.
God has much to say about “work” in His Word, the Bible. For those that desire to know what God says about the subject and desire to live the way that pleases Him, here is some of what the Word of God says about “work”:
God works.If the creator works, those that He created should follow His example. Creation was some of God’s work.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; …” Gen. 2:2 Also: Exo. 20:9, Ps. 8:3.
God works at protecting His people. See: Ex. 1:31.
Jesus worked. If we are Christians, or “Christ-like”, we should emulate Jesus’ work ethic.
“But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 5:17 Also: John 4:34.
God wants us to work.
“… this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.” II Thes. 3:10“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;” I Thes. 4:11
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:” Ex. 20:9 Also: Deut. 5:13, Ps. 104:23.
One will be happier if he works for what he gets.
“For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” Psalm 128:2“Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.“ Prov. 13:11 Those that try to get money an easy way without laboring for it, often find that they are always broke and cannot seem to keep what they have.
“There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.” Eccl. 2:24Also: Prov. 14:23, Eccl. 3:13.
God can bless a hard worker, as He did Job.
“Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” Job 1:10 Also: Psa. 62:12, Eccl. 3:13.
There is the work of ungodly that God does not accept, and the godly should avoid.
“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Mt 7:23 Also: Ps. 101:3, Ps. 135:15, Prov. 11:18, II Tim. 4:18.
A person’s character is often judged by his work ethic.
“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Prov. 20:11 Also: II Thes. 3:8.
There is a reward for laboring.
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” I Cor. 3:8
Serving God involves work.
“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” II Tim. 4:5 Also: Rom. 16:12.
Worshipping God can involve working.
Israel had to work to make the tabernacle and Solomon’s temple. See: Ex. 40:33.
Work was required to repair the damaged temple, so Israel could resume worship: See: Neh. 2:16.
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:29 Also: John 6:28, Eph. 4:12.
God knows about our work.
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil …” Rev. 2:2 Also: Prov. 15:19.
One will not have his needs met, if he does not work for them. He will have a hard life and will find himself wanting.
“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.“ Prov. 20:4“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” Prov.10:4 Also: Prov. 12:24, Prov. 15:19.
Laziness (slothfulness) hurts a person!
“The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.” Prov. 21:25“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” Prov. 13:4
“Too many people quit looking for work, when they find a job!”
“Work” Is God’s Way!
Although work is good and offers many rewards, some hard workers have their priorities wrong in that area. They may have amassed great wealth, but that is all they have. Their bank account may be bulging, but they are impoverished by lack of character and usefulness in society. All they have is money, but their integrity is bankrupt.
Those with a drive to get and hoard often have traded the joy and usefulness they could have had for things that will not fulfill them in this life and certainly cannot be taken to the next. To “get” what they have may have cost them what is more important, such as family, respect, relationships, and a walk with the Lord.
With all people have earned and collected, many still have no joy, as something terribly important is missing in their lives. Working is essential, but those we can be a blessing to and a Saviour to live for and obey are far more important than the temporary trinkets this world can offer.
“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.8 The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.” Prov. 13:7-8.
Today, society is trying to change the way God designed man to be. God works, and He expects us to also. He will bless your work, but will not bless one’s slothfulness.
“The only place where success comes before work is in a dictionary.” — Sassoon
Words to Understand:
Rebuke: correct; criticize
Scorner: one who has or shows great displeasure
Sluggard: a lazy person, slothful
1 A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
2 ¶ A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
3 ¶ He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
4 ¶ The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
5 ¶ A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
6 ¶ Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
7 ¶ There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
8 ¶ The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
9 ¶ The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
10 ¶ Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
11 ¶ Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
12 ¶ Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
13 ¶ Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
14 ¶ The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
15 ¶ Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
16 ¶ Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
17 ¶ A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
18 ¶ Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
19 ¶ The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
20 ¶ He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
21 ¶ Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
22 ¶ A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
23 ¶ Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
24 ¶ He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
25 ¶ The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.