Proverbs 24: King James Bible
A little Sleep – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty four, Verses 30-34
30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. 33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – A little Sleep
In our last devotional, we used an overgrown yard as an example of why we shouldn’t judge by appearances. If you missed it, check it out here: “Without Cause.” In the concluding verses of chapter 24, there are no assumptions made.
The Field of the Slothful
We are being told about the fields of the slothful, so we already know that the person is a sluggard before judging the person by condition of the field. Not only slothful, but this individual lacks understanding. A little sleep has snowballed for this person and we’re given the consequences above for allowing this to happen.
It is important for us to understand that the narrator knows the person lacks understanding and is slothful, therefore knows his field by it’s condition. In other words, if Bill tries to point out Dave’s field, say out of five fields, he can pick which one because he knows Dave, and how Dave operates. Dave’s a slothful type, and hasn’t got a clue what to do with his field, and it shows. Easy for Bill to make the right choice to determine which field is Dave’s.
Why does it matter? Because without this context, we could be found looking down our noses at people, and not giving people the time of day as we should. We talked about this in the last devotional. Making judgements on people from what we can see, particularly as it relates to stuff or belongings, is treading on shaky ground. Walk by faith, not by sight.
I think of the scripture about poor woman that was only able to give two mites at the collection plate at the temple. I’ll place the scripture below. If the Pharisees saw it, they’d think of how small the offering was. But Jesus knew to look deeper than outward appearances, and discerned that she gave all that she had, while everyone who could afford it was giving only their 10%.
In the eyes of a Lord who needs nothing from us, and we give unto him, which would he honor more; 10% or our all? He isn’t looking for stuff from us, but judges and weighs the heart. We can’t do that as he can, but we should also remember that we can’t do that before we decide to judge anyone else, by the things that we can see.
Could it be that the person is suffering from an affliction of some kind? Or something’s broken, not allowing him to make things look good? Could he be going through something that has hampered his ability? These are the questions we should ask ourselves, as we take notice of anything that has been overgrown with lack of care; be it a field, a house, an automobile, clothes, what have you.
How about reserving judgement, until you’ve knocked on his door and asked, “Hey, I noticed you’re field is growing over, do you need some help?”
Sleep and Slumber
We’ve all got to sleep. The verses above are not knocking sleeping or taking a nap when the need arises. What it is talking about, is to choose a little sleep and a bit of slumber over things that need doing. Putting things off would be another way to look at it.
When we choose to get a little sleep over something that needs to get done, what you need to do won’t go away by itself. Often, it only gets worse or more burdensome when put off.
And when a little sleep begins to become a habit, slumber has a way of elbowing itself over our priorities. It’s as if we acclimate ourselves into stagnation, due to too much importance being placed on comfort. Either comfort, or a mixed up priority set.
The verses above are not meant to instruct us as to how to find a slothful person void of understanding. They are meant for us to take personally, and to avoid want and poverty coming upon us as an armed man.
I personally understand that feeling. When it comes unexpected, and you lose things that you don’t want to lose, it is a feeling quite similar to being held up. You’re helpless to do anything, because all the time that’s been given to act has passed.
This Word of the Lord is true in every sense. All because of a little sleep, a little folding of the hands, rather than getting them dirty. It’s always a sense of relief establishing in your heart that you’ll get to something tomorrow, especially if it’s something you’d rather not do.
But tomorrow comes quickly if we’re fortunate enough to see it. And when it does come, you’d be wishing that you did what’s ahead of you yesterday. Things pile up, and when we put off the things that we could do today, you’re asking for headaches, backaches, heartbreaks, and anxiety.
All for the sake of comfort in the moment. All for some momentary gratification. A little sleep, a little slumber, and a little folding of the hands.
Related New Testament Scripture
Matthew 6: King James Bible
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 7: King James Bible
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Mark 12: King James Bible
41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
1 Corinthians 12: King James Bible
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
2 Corinthians 5: King James Bible
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Thank you for the truth of your Word, and for leading us through it. Help us to plow through all of the things that set us against getting done what needs doing, and guard our hearts against procrastination. Help us to be diligent in all things that require it Lord, and strengthen us to perform whatever it is that we need to, on a daily basis. May this include all things that need to be done first spiritually, then physically. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Have you ever been acclimated into stagnation that started out with “a little sleep?”