March 19th, 2009
Focus Text: Proverbs 13: 4 (NLT)
4 Lazy people want much but get little,
but those who work hard will prosper.
Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead
Laziness is another topic that repeatedly resurfaces in the book of Proverbs. At first glance, it would appear that Solomon has no leg to stand on here. I mean, come on! What a pretty boy! What could he possibly have known about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and working to make a living. The guy was born to the greatest king in Israel’s history and then was granted this wish in true “genie” fashion that guaranteed him not only wisdom, but fame and riches beyond anyone’s wildest dreams . . . so much so that even to this day, no one (besides Jesus Himself) has ever even come close to the wealth or wisdom of Solomon.
Sure, in our modern culture, we know more than Solomon knew about the nature of molecules, space, and the intricate workings of the human body’s circulatory system, but wisdom is more than just raw knowledge . . . it’s knowledge and discernment correctly applied to real life situations. That being said, where did Solomon get off talking about hard work when he was born with the greatest silver spoon of riches and wisdom in his hand in all of history?
There are a few things about Solomon that we probably ought to point out. Solomon may have been rich, but he was far from lazy. In his lifetime, he composed three-thousand proverbs and over one-thousand songs. He wrote the Song of Songs, the Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Dude, I write everyday, but this is ridiculous! Just imagine the years of composing and editing that this kind of portfolio required. How good of a writer was he? Well, we’re all still reading it today and that’s the best indicator of effectiveness.
Through his wisdom and direction, the great temple in Jerusalem was built. How big was this project over which he was the general contractor? Well, it took seven years to complete . . . seven years of hard work. It was built of stone and cedar, carved within and overlaid with pure gold. Nice. But he didn’t stop there with his design and construction skills. He spent 13 years building his own palace, and also built a city wall, a citadel called the Millo, a palace for the daughter of Pharaoh (who was one of his wives) and facilities for foreign traders. He erected cities . . . that’s right, whole cities . . . for chariots and horsemen and other cities he created just for storage.
You and I have garages for storage; Solomon had cities and he was the arcitect of all of them. Sound like a lazy guy to you?
Did all of this just come to him in the dream he had from God? The answer to that question is a little blurry some three-thousand years later, but I feel confident from his writings that he was a man of study. Biblical and secular history both attest to his time spent planning, writing, and learning. Sure, he had the amazing God-given ability to take to wisdom like a fish to water, but he still had to put the time into the process. He learned culture, languages, botany, science, architecture, poetry, and whole host of other academic disciplines that millions of students each year still work on today.
In essence, the greatest of all minds of wisdom was also one of the hardest working students to ever grace the classroom of life. His prosperity was a direct result of two key things: God’s granting to him of wisdom and his willingness to work.
Here’s the kicker! The same Giver of Wisdom who bestowed such extragavance upon Solomon is listening to our prayers too! Will He give us wisdom? His word promises that He will if we will only ask. But wisdom isn’t a ticket to Lazyland . . . rather it’s a season pass to the classroom of life. We mustn’t avoid hard work; we must embrace it.