Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 24:30 I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, 31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. 32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
An Unkept Vineyard
Today we will close out Proverbs 24 with a great passage: verses 30-34. And these verses, they are special to me… Especially verse 33 which has helped me out of bed in the mornings many times. Well, let’s think about this man…who is called a sluggard… and a man lacking sense. The writer says that they passed by, saw and considered this mans broken down vineyard and they received instruction…
Ok, let’s ponder this a bit and find how it relates to us. For example, there is good possibility that we have things unkept in our own life right? We may have been putting off touching up some calking around the house and painting it. We might need to clean out that… or those closets and junk rooms that have served over the years as holding areas when cleaning up the house. We may have intended to take items to the homeless shelter or Salvation Army or thrift store… We might have been planning a garage sale for 20 years and the stuff has kept piling up and is now unmanageable.
How far out of control is our life really? Years ago I managed a fast food drive-in and one of the partners would come do an inspection maybe a couple times every year. He liked to give a date for his arrival and then show up a day or two early. That was his style. One of the things his inspection consisted of was checking the cleanliness of the store. And the point I am making is that although I thought that I rat a tight shift and kept everything in order… When I knew he would be coming, all of a sudden I saw dirt everywhere.. So we would do things like clean… and scrub and paint… inside and outside… what ever was needed.
How far out of control is your life? Our senses get comfortable with the brokenness around us and we become blind to how far out of step our life has become.
The writer of today's passage gives us an amazing insight… It’s a BIG BIG help with only a single small word which he repeats three times in verse 33. Listen for it.
Here's what he says: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
If there is anything we might get out of this passage today I think it would be that we do not want to be that person who lets everything in life get out of control and go to pot. That person who was lazy toward the things that matter… namely the responsibility God had given him with the things in life… When he first planted his vineyard he likely did not set out to become a sluggard lacking sense… He did not plan on poverty swallowing up his life… It was the little things that brought his downfall… just a little extra sleeping in… a little extra slumbering in the recliner… a little extra folding of the hands… a little extra time playing video games… being on social media… watching TV… eating… fishing… just a little extra time seeking ye first that same old mission in life before we came to Christ.
Yes, this is a real life in the physical world problem but it is connected to and points to how our life might be spiritually. The truth is… If you are a believer satan wants your life to be broken down and unkept even more so spiritually. If he can keep you so far behind on spiritual responsibilities and accountability and so far in spiritual poverty so you have stopped growing in Christ… your new mission in Christ will look like a dead overgrown grove.
So here’s the question: Is your spiritual vineyard unkept? Is it even bearing fruit? If it is… have the grapes become sour because the vines have not been pruned back every fall? Little by little have you lost interest in the vineyard? You quit pruning and grafting and weeding… what the birds don’t take away the worms eat and disease infests. The writer ends with verse 34: and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
I hope that is incentive for you to stop all the little advances toward sin… the occasional pulls from TV and the internet towards lust have moved from little to a lot… Gossip and grumbling have increased from sometimes to often… Mind fantasies have become more frequent… Maybe you were introduced to marijuana or something else and you rationalized until now your want for it is like an armed man that is destroying your life. It could be a million different things.