The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 26: 13-21 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!” As the door turns on its hinges, So does the sluggard on his bed. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can give a discreet answer. Like one who takes a dog by the ears Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him. Like a madman who throws Firebrands, arrows and death, So is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, “Was I not joking?” For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
Retired Admiral and former Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, William McRaven, has a book titled Make Your Bed: Little things that can change your life…..and maybe the world. An alternate title could probably be Have your best life now. While I do not subscribe to self help antidotes to address problems of the heart, I do believe there is some wisdom found in the overarching premise of his book, and it isn’t new. Are you ready for it? DON’T BE A SLUGGARD. That’s right, don’t be a sluggard. Take care of your responsibilities. Be disciplined in how you approach your day. Wow. The Admiral is really enlightened. Profound, isn’t he? Let’s be honest about a couple of things: 1) this book probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day had it not been for the Admiral’s scathing criticism of President Trump; 2) We know number 1 is true, because no one, and I mean no one, is promoting the idea of being responsible in our culture right now without getting shouted down and demonized as a dinosaur of puritan days gone by. In fact, a sluggardly approach to life and the rejection of responsibility that goes along with it is the new norm: reject your manhood, reject your parents teaching, reject authority, reject any semblance of growing up, reject any notion of living life with a gentle and quiet spirit, reject God’s Word while embracing watered down philosophies like “Make your bed”. Sorry Admiral, but in 2018, in our nation, our churches, the workplace, the marketplace, and in our homes, sluggards are now permitted, even enabled to operate out in the open and this fact does not bode well for the future of our nation, lest it repents and seeks Jesus as Savior and Lord. What does scripture say about the sluggard? Four things: the sluggard is a coward, the sluggard is lazy, the sluggard won’t receive God’s goodness, and the sluggard is wise in his own eyes. Listen to the Word of God:
The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!” As the door turns on its hinges, So does the sluggard on his bed. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can give a discreet answer.
The sluggard is a coward who will not confront the dangers which act as stumbling blocks to his faithfulness to God. The sluggard in this Proverb perceives danger in the street and uses that as an excuse to shirk his responsibilities. We would never do that, would we? Asks the guy who chronically suffers from fear of man. The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!”
The sluggard is lazy, and probably sleeps until 930,10, or noon every day. They love sleep and rest to the detriment of their responsibilities. In sleeping till noon, half their day is gone, and now have built in excuses for why they couldn’t get done the things they needed to. “I’m not a morning person”, they say. The Admiral would be disappointed. How can you make your bed if you never get out of it? As the door turns on its hinges, so does the sluggard on his bed.
The sluggard is so lazy, they won’t even embrace God’s gifts and blessings towards them. They waste their earnings on lavish toys. They shove their kids into indoctrination centers so they can make a better life for them, unless they kill them in the womb first. They go to church, hear God’s Word, and never apply it. They grumble about manna and quail. As the proverb says, they are so lazy, they bury their hand in the dish, but grow weary of bringing it to their mouth.
And lastly, the sluggard is wise in his own eyes. Tell me, you who the Bible compares to a worm, you man of dust: in your 7, or 15, or 18, or 30, or 42, or 50+ years on this earth, how did you get so wise? Tell me, you who depend upon God for the movement of every single molecule of oxygen floating through your veins, and every single brainwave fluttering through cerebral cortex: are you the foundation of all wisdom? Did Jesus sit down at the right hand of the Father and hand wisdom off to you? Children, do you think that your parents hatched from eggs fully grown, and it’s up to you to teach them all of your accumulated wisdom? Please. Sit down and stop being a slug. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer.
Let us cry out to God for mercy, and repent of our sluggardly ways, knowing that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Please kneel if you are able as we cry out Abba Father!
Most gracious Heavenly Father, we are but men and women, boys and girls of dust. We are often cowardly, lazy, ungrateful, and wise in our own eyes. Please grant us soft, repentant hearts, which are aware of our sins before You. Father, please grant us illuminated minds, which recognize how our sluggardly approach to life is an affront to Your Holiness, and is contrary to the image we are created in. Father, please give us courage. Please help us find our rest in Christ. Please help us to worship You with a spirit of thanksgiving. Please Father, help us to be humble, trust in You, and lean not on our own understanding. Father, we come before You this morning, by the precious blood of Your Son, in the power of Your Holy Spirit, and plead, be merciful towards us sinners. Father, Your Word says to ask, seek, and knock. Your Word says to be persistent like the widow seeking justice. Father, please bless us with persistent hearts that desire to ask, seek, and knock, because often we are too sluggardly to even do that. We ask these things in the name above all names, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:8-9
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 11-18-18 liturgy of Sovereign King Church. Written by Aaron Sabie.)