Proverbs 6:10-11 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest– and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
This past Sunday I preached on Exodus 34:21, that specifies that we are to rest on the Sabbath even in times of plowing and harvest, but the Bible is clear throughout that laziness is not an option. God is our Supply, but we are not to take Him for granted. When He says to rest we are to rest, but He expects us to be industrious. This doesn’t mean everyone is to be a physical laborer, but it does mean we are to be good stewards of the time we are given. I’m reminded of a song from Finian’s Rainbow, “When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich.” How much we have in the bank is beside the point. People in “intellectual” fields can work just as hard as people in construction, for example, and the “work” can be harder to turn off at the end of the day. The point isn’t physical exertion, but stewardship of time and resources. At the time this was written there was no social “safety net,” so the average person was perhaps more likely to expect to work hard for their living. This is in no way to put down those who are unable to work, but the requirement that able-bodied people at least be looking for work before they can receive Welfare payments certainly seems Biblical. When that was instituted in Maine, the Welfare rolls went down by over half! God expects us to work well and rest well, and He will bless us if we do so.
This seems like a strange subject for me to be writing on, since at 72 I am semi-retired, and on top of that, the Lord told me over 10 years ago to “rest, relax, rejoice.” I am at the point in life that I have to stay intentionally physically active for the sake of my health, but my physical activity has little effect on my income. Likewise, in line with that three-word admonition the Lord gave me, I know that my success depends on Him, so being anxious is totally counter-productive. However, my stewardship of time and resources is still called to account. I have very little in my date book from now until school classes start up again in April, so each day I am confronted with how I am to spend my time. “Dreaming my life away,” as the pop song from 60 years ago had it, is certainly not an option! However long the Lord leaves me on this earth, He has a purpose for me, and I am to be faithful and diligent in seeking and fulfilling that purpose, for the blessing of those around me and for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You that I don’t have financial anxiety, but keep me from using that as an excuse for laziness. May I indeed do Your will on Your schedule for Your glory, so that Your kingdom may come. Thank You. Praise God!