Proverbs (Part 061) - Pro 6:8-9


8. Pro 6:8 - "Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest." A. Provideth her meat in the summer, i. Without a guide, overseer, or ruler (Pro 6:7), the little ant provides for her necessities. a. Provide v. - II. 3. trans. To prepare, get ready, or arrange (something) beforehand. Now rare. 1535 Coverdale Prov. vi. 7 In the sommer she prouideth hir meate, & gathereth hir foode together in ye haruest. III. 7. To equip or fit out (a person, etc.) with what is necessary for a certain purpose; to furnish or supply with something implied. In quot. 1628, to provide or furnish with a lodging. b. If any provide not for his own, especially they of his own house, he is worse than an infidel (1Ti 5:8). c. At least half of the people in this country are not providing for themselves and their families, but are relying on the government to do so in one way or another. d. "In 2011, about 49 percent of the population lived in a household where at least one member received a direct benefit from the federal government. A big chunk of these households are retirees. And about 27 percent households benefited from a means-tested poverty program." (Who receives government benefits, in six charts,, 9-18-2012) e. That number has likely grown in the last 9 years. ii. The ant provides for her own meat. a. Meat n. - 1. a. Food in general; anything used as nourishment for men or animals; usually, solid food, in contradistinction to drink. b. The ant works to eat, and so must we. c. If a man will not work when he can, he should not eat (2Th 3:10). d. An idle man should suffer hunger (Pro 19:15). B. and gathereth her food in the harvest. i. Having provided her food in the summer the ant gathers it in the harvest. a. Gather v. - 1. To join or unite; to put together, form by union. Obs. since early ME. 3. a. To bring (things) together; to collect from different quarters into one mass or place; to acquire by such means, to amass. Also to gather together. b. Harvest n. - 1. The third of the four seasons of the year, the autumn. 2. The season for reaping and gathering in the ripened grain. ii. Provision of food is made in the summer and gathering of it is done in the harvest. a. The sluggard can learn from the ant about when it is crucial to work during the year. (i) It is necessary to work when the weather is nice before cold weather sets in when it's hard or impossible to work. (ii) Work must begin in the early spring of the year if a bountiful crop is to be reaped in harvest. (iii) The sluggard who will not work early in the year because of cold weather will suffer need when harvest comes (Pro 20:4). (iv) The work must continue through the summer months in preparation for the harvest. 1. Ants are wise and prepare their meat in the summer (Pro 30:25). 2. Prepare v. - 1. a. trans. To put beforehand into a suitable condition for some action; to set in order previously for some purpose; to get ready, make ready, put in readiness; to fit out, equip. 3. Summer is the time to get ready to reap the harvest. (v) Autumn is the most important time of year to labor because it is then that the fruits of a man's work will be reaped which is the result of hard work since early spring. 1. The ant prepares and gets her food ready in the summer in expectation of the harvest and the coming winter. 2. In the harvest the food is gathered and brought together to be kept safe until it is needed in the winter. 3. It's a good idea to have a storage of food, supplies, and money laid up in one's house in case of an emergency, layoff, or natural disaster. 4. Wise men will gather in summer and harvest, but fools will sleep during harvest and cause shame to themselves and others (Pro 10:5). (vi) Once winter sets in, it's too late to work and one must live on what he produced and saved throughout the year. (vii) This is especially important today for farmers and other seasonal occupations such as paving, concrete, excavation, etc. b. The sluggard can also learn from the ant about when in the course of life it's important to work. (i) Spring 1. In the springtime of life a man is just entering his working years. 2. This is the time to determine what talents, aptitudes, and skills God has given him and begin to get an education or learn a trade to develop his abilities. (ii) Summer 1. In the summertime of life a man starts into his career and is in growth mode. 2. During this time he becomes more knowledgeable and productive and continues to increase his income. 3. This is the time to start saving money and laying up wealth. (iii) Autumn or Harvest 1. In the Harvest time of life a man is at the peak of his career. 2. He has a lot of knowledge and experience and his productive capacity is at its max. 3. He is still able to work and use his talents that he has spent a lifetime acquiring. 4. All of the planting, watering, and weeding that he has spent years doing is now paying off with a bountiful harvest. 5. He is making the most money of his life, and his expenses should be at the lowest point in his life having paid off all debt and having an empty nest with his children all grown and out of the house. 6. Now is the time to reap the reward of a lifetime of labor and work and save as much money as possible while he can still work. 7. As Jesus taught, it's important to work while it's day because the night cometh when no man can work (Joh 9:4). (iv) Winter 1. In the wintertime of life a man is now beyond his working years. 2. He is old and physically incapable of working. 3. At this point he should have a large store of wealth laid up that he can live off of for the rest of his life so that he doesn't have to be a burden on anyone else. c. Americans desperately need to hear this message and learn from the wise ant because the vast majority of them have little to nothing saved for retirement. (i) "A startling new report issued by the non-profit National Institute on Retirement Security found that despite the "recovery" of the last decade leading to all time highs in the stock market, the savings levels of Americans who seek to retire are "deeply inadequate". In fact, the median retirement account balance among working individuals was found to be $0." ("Retirement Crisis": The Typical Working American Has Nothing Saved For Retirement,, 9-19-2018) (ii) "The report found that more than 100 million Americans that are of working age don’t have any retirement account assets in an employer sponsored 401(k) type plan, individual account, or pension, at all." (Ibid) (iii) "To make matters worse, 4 out of 5 working Americans were also found to have less than one year's income in their retirement accounts. Even those that are trying to save for retirement are failing to do so effectively, according to the study. It’s stated that 77% of Americans come up short of even the most conservative retirement savings targets for their age, based on estimates that have them working until age 67." (Ibid) (iv) "Diane Oakley, who authored the report, stated: “The facts and data are clear. Retirement is in peril for most working-class Americans. When all working individuals are considered — not just the minority with retirement accounts—the typical working American has zero, zilch, nothing saved for retirement.” She continued, "What this report means is that the American dream of a modest retirement after a lifetime of work now is a middle-class nightmare. Even among workers who have accumulated savings in retirement accounts, the typical worker had a low account balance of $40,000. This is far off-track from the savings levels Americans need if they hope to sustain their standard of living in retirement."" (Ibid) d. "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise" (Pro 6:6). (i) By doing so, you will learn a good work ethic. (ii) By doing so, you will learn how to provide for yourself. (iii) By doing so, you will learn how to make hay while the sun shines and lay up wealth during your working years to live on during your latter years when you can no longer work. 9. Pro 6:9 - "How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?" A. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? i. Solomon continues in his condemnation of the lazy man with a new line of reasoning for the next three verses (Pro 6:9-11). ii. He begins with a rhetorical question: How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard?. a. He is not looking for an answer from the sloth of "10", "12", or "14 hours." b. He giving his rebuke in the form of a question with hopes of it making the lazy bum think. c. We do this when we ask our spouse or children, "How long are you going to sleep?", or "Are you going to sleep all day?". d. If a question won't get your kids out of bed, a rod across their butts will. iii. Both God and men in scripture often ask sinners "How long" will they continue to sin. Here are numerous examples: a. "...How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me?" (Exo 10:3) b. "...How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?" (Exo 16:28) c. "...How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?" (Num 14:11) d. "...How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me?" (Num 14:27) e. "...How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?" (Jos 18:3) f. "...How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?" (1Sa 16:1) g. "...How long halt ye between two opinions?" (1Ki 18:21) h. " long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing?" (Psa 4:2) i. "How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?" (Psa 82:2) j. "...How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?" (Pro 1:22) k. "...How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?" (Jer 4:14) l. "How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies?" (Jer 23:26) m. "How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter?..." (Jer 31:22) n. " long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?" (Mat 17:17) o. These verses show how longsuffering God is with sinners including lazy sinners. iv. Solomon also uses the emphatic "O" to try to get through to the slow belly. a. O int. (n.) - 1. Standing before a n. in the vocative relation. 2. In other connexions, or without construction, expressing, according to intonation, various emotions, as appeal, entreaty, surprise, pain, lament, etc. b. One is justified in using emotion while exhorting a lazy man to get out of bed. v. Christians should not be lazy. a. Christians should not be slothful but work fervently in their business (Rom 12:11). (i) Business n. - 1. a. The state of being busily engaged in anything. b. Industry, diligence. (ii) Slothful adj. - 1. Of persons, etc.: Full of sloth; indisposed to exertion; inactive, indolent, lazy, sluggish. (iii) Fervent adj. - 1. Hot, burning, glowing, boiling. 2. Of persons, their passions, dispositions, or actions: Ardent, intensely earnest. (iv) Whatever work we have to do should be done busily with diligence, not lazily and sluggishly. b. Christians should do their work or whatever they do with all their might (Ecc 9:10). c. They should work heartily as if they were working for the Lord and not men (Col 3:23). (i) Heartily adv. - 1. With full or unrestrained exercise of real feeling; with genuine sincerity; earnestly, sincerely, really; with goodwill, cordially. 2. With courage, zeal, or spirit; spiritedly, zealously. (ii) Christians should work zealously and sincerely as if they were doing it directly for God. d. Those who work diligently will go places (Pro 22:29). e. Diligent adj. - 1. Of persons: ‘Constant in application, persevering in endeavour, assiduous’, industrious; ‘not idle, not negligent, not lazy.’ B. when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? i. Sluggard n. - A. n. a. One who is naturally or habitually slow, lazy, or idle; one who is disinclined for work or exertion of any kind; a slothful or indolent person. ii. Sluggards are lazy and love to sleep. a. Being lazy will make a man tired will make him want to sleep (Pro 19:15). b. Because he is lazy he will just keep turning upon his bed instead of getting up (Pro 26:14). c. The longer he sleeps, the more tired he will be when he finally gets up and the more worthless he will feel. d. This in turn will make him sit around and be lazy which will make him tired and wanting to go to sleep again. e. This is a vicious cycle which needs to be broken. iii. Sleep is a good thing. a. The sleep of a laboring man is sweet (Ecc 5:12). b. Sleep is necessary for the body to rejuvenate and heal itself (Joh 11:12). c. It is foolish to deprive oneself of necessary sleep (Psa 127:2). d. Diligent men sleep to live; sluggards live to sleep. iv. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep, a. Most people need between 6-9 hours of sleep per night to be healthy and feel well rested. b. I need 7.5 hours per night myself. c. So don't condemn a person who needs eight hours of sleep per night if you only need six hours. v. There is a big difference between the person who only needs seven hours of sleep, but is too lazy to get up and sleeps for eight or nine, and the person who needs eight or nine hours to feel well rested and not be tired and dragging all day. vi. Imagine how much more a lazy person could get done in a lifetime if he didn't sleep an extra hour every day and instead used that hour productively. a. If a man did so between the ages of 15-75, he would have 21,900 extra hours of productive time during his life (365 x 1 x 60). b. That's an extra 2,737.5 extra eight hour work days. c. That's an extra 10.5 YEARS of extra eight hour work days. d. Is it any wonder that, although we all have the same amount of hours in a day, some people accomplish far more in their lives than others? vii. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? Get up and get something done!
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