Proverbs in 365 Devotions

June 7

Proverbs 10:26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.


Brad Chase

The word of the day is irritate.  If you’ve never tried the vinegar on the teeth, it hurts. It’s got a sour taste and a smell that about gags you. It’s cold and that makes your whole mouth hurt. Imagine  sinking your teeth into a big ball of tin foil. Those with cavities or filling are cringing at just the thought. It’s painful, uncomfortable, dissatisfying and down right irritating.

The vinegar to the teeth isn’t all together common. But the smoke in the eyes, that is. Whether it’s from a grill in the back yard, an unplanned fire that your trying to control or last nights dinner that you forgot to set a timer for. Most of us have had smoke in the eyes. It’s hot and stings. It makes your eyes blood shot and watery while oddly enough, dry as the Sahara desert. One good puff of smoke strait to the eyes will make you wish you had Ben Stein on speed dial for some Clear Eyes eye drops.

The passage today tells us that people can be just as irritating. Not like this is something we don’t already know. More often than not, it pride and the flesh that lets us deem others as annoying or irritating. But in this case, God is talking about the sluggers. The lazy and untrustworthy man. The irresponsible person who cuts corners, doesn’t complete a job or all together dismisses a task.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you are going on a family vacation for a week in the summer. You hire a neighborhood kid to take care of the grass while you are gone. Now, honestly, life has been crazy and you have let your yard go just a little too long. It’s now thick and taller than it should be. (technically, you could be considered the sluggard at this point. But! You have taken a step and hired someone to fix it.) You even pay up front so he has money for gas.

Now, when you arrive home this is what you see... A capital T had been  scalped to the dirt as big as the yard. Half the yard is cut short with all the grass clippings still there and the other half has another weeks growth from the last time you we’re home. The kid whom you hired has failed to do the job you hired him and expected him to do and is no where to be found.

Much like the vinegar to the teeth and the smoke to the eyes, this young man has become an irritant to you.

So, you May be asking how this applies to us. In Matthew 28 verse 19-20 Jesus says:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus did not tell us to go if we felt like it. He didn’t give us the option to set around and do nothing. He tells us to Go. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior, we are obligated to do as he says. And he says go. So, if we chose to do this only once in a great while or not at all, we are the sluggard. And we are irritating to the one true God. My advice, don’t irritate God. Just do what your told and how your told to do it.