The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
Finish every job. Slothful men start projects, but they do not complete them. They may enjoy hunting, even though it is difficult and time-consuming, but they lose ambition, energy, and focus when they get home and need to dress and process the meat taken.
On the other hand, a diligent and virtuous man salvages all the meat and does not rest until it is wrapped neatly in the freezer. He knows that any game taken by hunting is a blessing, and he is sure to use it to its fullest. He values any asset and all income wisely.
Hunters take pains to prepare for deer hunting. They sight rifles, scout land, secure a tree stand, carefully select clothing and equipment, rise while it is still cold and dark, carry their stand deep into the woods, fix it in a tree, and wait for the deer. Having shot one, they rejoice with friends, field dress it, and drag it to their truck, where they proudly drive through town to the praise of their friends. The slothful man may seem diligent this far.
But when he gets home, his energy disappears! The carcass fills him with dread – there is so much work to do! So he gives it to his neighbor with great generosity, throws it in a dumpster, leaves it to his dogs, or lets it rot in the garage. Then he orders pizza to relax after his hard day with a well-deserved meal and nap. He does not even clean his gun. What a waste! He squanders the Lord’s kind blessing on the little effort he did make.
But the diligent man is different. He enjoys the hunt, but he knows it is for a purpose. He dresses, butchers, and processes every bit of meat for future use, and he neatly labels and packages it for convenient use by his wife. And he carefully cleans his gun to preserve its value. He is thankful for the gift of the deer, and he works to take full advantage of the Lord’s blessing. He takes of the day’s venison and shares it with his family for supper.
What a difference between two men! The slothful man cannot finish a project to discover the profit of labor, but the diligent man sees the value in finishing every job and properly caring for each asset and all income. Sloth is foolish, wasteful, and destructive. Diligence is wise, resourceful, and productive. The diligent man shall rule (Pr 10:4; 12:24; 22:29).
Reader, be careful. God and Solomon’s kind lesson here for your success is not found in most modern Bible versions. Proverbs are dark and obscure sayings (Pr 1:6; Jn 16:29), so their translators missed the lesson of wisdom about valuing and preserving your assets and income. The King James Bible, with over 400 years of spiritual fruit proving God’s blessing on it, is shown above, which clearly conveys the very valuable lesson for you.
Solomon said, “He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster” (Pr 18:9). A slothful man and a wasteful man are brothers in a family going to financial ruin. But the man in this proverb is both. His slothfulness caused him to waste God’s good favor. He did not even have the noble work ethic of profane Esau (Gen 27:30-31).
Every man, every woman, every child, every day, faces this issue on the job, at home, at school, with numerous aspects of life. Good projects are started, but they are not always completed. Interruptions, difficulty, slothfulness, and procrastination keep them from being finished. They leave rotting carcasses in the garage, which soon stink up the home.
Reader, have you started any projects you should finish today to be productive and value God’s blessings in your life? Or will you squander His goodness by leaving a task unfinished, the investment of labor partly made, but the full profit waiting for a diligent man? There is joy in a job well done – when the job is finished. Prove this wisdom. If you continue with partial efforts, the Lord will withdraw the blessing of providing a deer.
Apply this proverb’s precious lesson for success. For example, God gave you a job, but have you exploited opportunities at your company for contacts, learning, promotions, or transfers? He gave you a house, but have you properly maintained it so that its market value is what you paid for it, or more? You have educational options, but have you carefully explored the best degrees for the least cost with the highest earning potential?
Think of other ways you can be slothful and wasteful to lose blessings God tried to give you. He gave you a spouse, but have you loved that spouse as the Creator of love and sex has taught in the Bible in order to realize the full pleasure waiting for you? He may have given you children, but have you put in the wise training that will make them noble pillars in your family, in society, and in the kingdom of God. Apply the lesson widely.
Parent, it is your duty to teach your children the self-discipline of finishing every project they start. This requires training, follow-up, and punishment, but it will yield successful and noble children in the future. They will never be successful in life, if you allow them to begin projects without finishing them. Teach them this wisdom of Solomon, and wait for the training to bear precious fruit. Finish this parental project as you should all others.
Here is also a picture of lazy Christians. They hear the same sermon preached to others. Some do not prepare, so it falls by the wayside, and the devil snatches it away. Some may even receive it joyfully, but they allow worldly cares to distract. Without deep conviction, others dread persecution, so they shirk their duty to truth (Matt 13:19-21). Only those who diligently respond and bear fruit are true disciples (John 8:31; 15:8; II Pet 1:9).
How many times have you been graciously given, or diligently took, conviction from a sermon, but later let it slip away? God save you from such waste. Grace in your soul that stirs conviction is precious indeed. Do not squander it. Run with it. Now! Do not stop pressing for the prize of God’s high calling until you get to the end of the road. It is a fact taught by the Lord that the violent take the kingdom of heaven by force (Matt 11:12).
God forbid you make a profession of Christ and then lose your full reward. Men will seek to beguile you out of it, so you must earnestly contend for it (Col 2:18; Jude 1:3; II John 1:8). There is a war for your soul, which you must fight to the finish, lest you become a castaway through spiritual slothfulness (I Pet 2:11; 5:8; I Cor 9:27; II Tim 4:7). For this purpose you assemble with others to be provoked to finish your course (Heb 10:23-25).
The blessed Lord shall not lose one elect soul given to His charge (John 6:39; 17:3; Heb 2:13). Christian reader, are you glad the Saviour rejected all sloth in His life and work? Are you glad He did not leave even one of the elect unsaved? If He had, it might have been you. He went to work; He finished His work (John 4:34; 19:30). Hallelujah! Amen!