The sluggard is no freak

Chris —  July 30, 2010

If you would like to study Proverbs, I highly recommend, Proverbs (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

With the ever quotable Kidner’s help, Justin Taylor provides a concise summary of the lazy person in Proverbs.  Notice that it isn’t hard to become a sluggard.  It’s as easy as falling asleep.

Derek Kidner, in his 1964 commentary on Proverbs, writes about the sluggard (pp. 42-43):

The sluggard in Proverbs is a figure of tragi-comedy, with his sheer animal laziness (he is more than anchored to his bed: he is hinged to it, 26:14), his preposterous excuses (“there is a lion outside!” 26:13; 22:13) and his final helplessness.

Kidner identified four features of the sluggard according to Proverbs:

(1) He will not begin things. When we ask him (6:9, 10) “How long?” “When…?”, we are being too definite for him. He doesn’t know. All he knows is his delicious drowsiness; all he asks is a little respite: “a little…a little…a little…”. He does not commit himself to a refusal, but deceives himself by the smallness of his surrenders. So, by inches and minutes, his opportunity slips away.

(2) He will not finish things. The rare effort of beginning has been too much; the impulse dies. So his quarry goes bad on him (12:27) and his meal goes cold on him (19:24; 26:15).

(3) He will not face things. He comes to believe his own excuses (perhaps there is a lion out there, 22:13), and to rationalize his laziness; for he is “wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason” (26:16). Because he makes a habit of the soft choice (he “will not plow by reason of the cold,” 20:4) his character suffers as much as his business, so that he is implied in 15:19 to be fundamentally dishonest…

Read the rest here.

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