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Of ants and men (Proverbs 6 v 6-11)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

After warning his son about the dangers of gambling and get-rich-quick schemes, Solomon turns to show him what a life dedicated to laziness looks like.

The sluggard
Read Proverbs 6:9

Proverbs is full of stock characters that represent the kind of foolish people we might meet as we go along the road of life (eg: the adulteress and the mocker). One person that keeps coming up is the sluggard, the lazy man.

• What does the sluggard do (or not do!)?
• What are the consequences (v 11)?

Go to the ant
Read Proverbs 6:6

Solomon uses the example of the insignificant ant in order to instruct the sluggard.

• Spot three ways that the ant shows wisdom in verses 7-8.

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TIME OUT
Think about wise people that you know.
• How do they approach their work? Their leisure? Their sleep habits?
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Wisdom, work and rest

Proverbs often commends the value of hard work as part of wisdom:
Read Proverbs 12:11
We were made to work, whether that is outside the home, inside the home, or at school. Work is a blessing for us. It is part
of our being made in God’s image. And in God’s world, hard work normally pays off. We are meant to earn our living
by working with diligence. Hard work is part of living life well. It is part of wisdom.
But wisdom is found in striking the right balances. It is too simple just to say that it is always wise to work. After all, it may be foolish to work when you are ill or injured. It is normally foolish to work instead of gathering with God’s people for worship on Sunday.
Solomon is not criticizing rest; he is criticising laziness. It is foolish to sleep when you should be working. It is unwise to rest when it is time for labour.

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APPLY
• Are you someone who finds it easier to rest when you should be working, or to work when you should be resting?
• In which circumstances do you need to remember to work hard? When do you need to remember to rest?
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore57 when you check out to get the current quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

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Keep a record of what God is teaching you with "my bible" at biblestudytools.com

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Originally published March 26, 2012.

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