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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 6:6-11

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Responsible Living: Do Not Be Lazy: Prov 6:6-11

6) Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7) Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8) Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.
9) How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
10) [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
11) So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.


Our second section of teaching on responsible living will touch on the subject of being lazy.  This is what is meant by the Bible term “sluggard”.  It involves the ideas of “to lean idly” or “to stand back and not participate” or “to be lax and careless”.  If we come to understand this term properly, we can see it can mean to lay around, not being productive, but it can also mean to not be diligent and careful in our labors that are being performed.

Also we should keep in mind, that these principles apply to our earthly labors and our spiritual labors for Christ.

Let’s look at the need for a Christian to be productive and careful in all his labors.


6) Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
For those who struggle with the need to be living productive, diligent lives…
1.  consider – They are to observe and closely examine the actions, and lifestyle, of the ant.
2.  be wise – They are to learn from it and then apply the principles they have learned to their life.

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:  Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.  Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?  In whose hand [is] the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”   (Job 12:7-10)

7) Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,  8) Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.
The great lessons that can be learned from the life of the ant include:
1.  Works without need of oversight
2.  Works for not only current, but future needs as well
3.  Works for the benefit of self AND OTHERS
4.  Does not rest until the job is accomplished

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”   (2 Thessalonians 3:10)


9) How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
Seeing the great temporal and spiritual needs in the world, and having such a wonderful example of productivity and diligence given by the ant…..
How long can people ignore what is going on around them and be lazy, careless and asleep?

And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

 (Romans 13:11-14)


10) [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
Their attitude is one of procrastination, always putting off what so desperately needs to be accomplished…
1.  continue on comfortably, not rising up to work to fulfill their responsibilities
2.  continue to doze off, uncaring, in the midst of all the needs about them
3.  refusal to labor with hands, preferring to recline instead of being fruitful and constructive

Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”   (Ephesians 5:14)


11) So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
It is this type of lax, slothful attitude that will result in…
1.   Much one that travels to a far country, gradually consistently approaching and finally arriving at their destination… the destitution and deprivation will gradually, inevitably come upon those who are lazy and lax
2.   Just as an armed man comes upon others silently and deliberately to rob and harm their victims, so too poverty and want will come upon those who choose to be inactive and apathetic.

“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; [therefore] shall he beg in harvest, and [have] nothing.”   (Proverbs 20:4)


In this proverb we can see the ant being used as an example of an industrious, diligent laborer.  Ants are known for their constant productivity, preparation for future needs and willingness to sacrifice for the good of others.  All of these are very important qualities for those who desire to be laborers for Christ.

May none of us be lazy in our service for Christ.  Let us all be found doing our given task when He comes to take us home….

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?  Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

 (Matthew 24:45-47)

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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  1. I love how God uses the ant to show the human work ethics and commitment.

  2. terry1954 says:

    thank you Rob, you give so much hope in your words

  3. Debbie says:

    Thank you for encouraging us to stay faithful to Him .. and He will give us rest. God bless you!

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    As I grow more as a Christian I find it so much more true that God’s grace didn’t just end with justification but also for our sanctification: we should have the Gospel stir us to live for Him and serve Him like a hard working ant.

  5. Actually I have always marveled at the ‘ant’ and it’s industrious ways…their home gets demolished and they start all over again…I think that’s what we’re called to do when things go wrong…start all over again!…Diane

  6. I have been a workaholic for decades, enjoying the ministry God has given. Thankfully, I don’t need much sleep.

    Now, as I age, I sometimes wonder if maybe a little laziness is creeping in. Now that I don’t have so many deadlines to meet, do I slow down? That is something I’ll have to consider.

    • Rob Barkman says:


      I know what you are talking about… since I have retired from pastoring. I was pushing too hard and it was taking a toll on my health. I have tried to find a balance between slowing down and yet continuing to be faithful in consistent service to the Lord.
      I guess the Lord has reminded me of the need to come apart and rest awhile as a way of taking care of myself physically so that I can continue to serve Him in a way that is pleasing to Him. Lord bless you. I’ll be praying for you that the Lord might clearly show you His will.

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