Proverbs 10: King James Bible
Vinegar to the Teeth – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter ten, Verse 26
26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Vinegar to the Teeth
Strange that these are used as an example, of what it’s like to send a sluggard to go and do something. I always took the vinegar to the teeth as a way of saying,”leave a bad taste in your mouth,” but upon dwelling on this verse, I think it goes a bit deeper than that.
Funny thing about vinegar… It’s acidity surpasses many things that we eat or drink today. That being said, vinegar is far more aggressive on the enamel of your teeth, and causes them to rot quicker, make them more likely to wind up with cavities, and cause a whole lot of pain down the road.
Now that I think about it, it could mean both. You’re left with a bitter taste in your mouth, and rots your teeth.
Have you ever wound up with a face full of smoke, specifically to the eyes? If you haven’t, then you’ve missed out on the instant sting that happens, causing you to squint and tear up till the pain subsides.
The common denominators between the two, are that they’re both unpleasant, painful, lingering, frustrating, all consuming (at the time), and just a great way to make your life miserable for as long as it lasts. So if you don;t want to be blinded to tears, feeling rotten, and left with a bad taste in your mouth, don’t send out a sluggard to go and accomplish something.
I mean, that’s the point of this verse, isn’t it?
No it isn’t. This is placed here for our consumption, for our benefit, and for our instruction in righteousness. If we would like to catch the original intention behind this verse, we should end the sentence with,”so don’t be a sluggard.”
It’s almost always safe to assume, that any instructional verse we find anywhere in the Word of God, is speaking to us, instead of speaking about someone else. The verse above is letting us know what it’s like to count on a sluggard. It might benefit to remember, that though this is Solomon’s proverb, that it’s the Holy Ghost who was giving him his wisdom in the first place.
Could it be, that some of us are that sluggard when it comes to the things that the Lord has sent us to do? Are we akin to smoke to his eyes, and vinegar to his teeth, as it might relate to our behavior to his direction?
Nobody’s perfect, but that’s irrelevant. This isn’t a perfection verse, this is a “be diligent” verse, showing us (at least in part) of how the Lord might get frustrated toward our lackadaisical approach to his will. You could have it all wrong, but if your heart is right in the eyes of the Lord, he can work with you.
But if you don’t move to do the work, how’s he supposed to work with you? As a former foreman, I can tell you with an idea of what I’m talking about… Give me someone willing to do the work, but doesn’t have any experience, over someone with all the experience in the world, yet is lazy, any day of the week.
Willingness is trainable, teachable, and gets things done. Laziness is also trainable, and teachable, but won’t get anything done. Well, at least not all by itself. Measure yourself against this verse, and should the Lord judge you right now, would the verse above be a plea from the Lord for you to stop being a sluggard, or to stop toiling with a sluggard?
Related New Testament Scripture
Romans 12: King James Bible
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Hebrews 6: King James Bible
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Thank you for your Word, and for all of the benefit that comes along with it. Your Word is life, and we know that we don’t live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from your mouth. If we are ignorant to being a sluggard in your eyes Lord, open our eyes, and give us understanding where the problem stems from Father. Help and cause for us to be more diligent, and willing to do all that you’ve provided for us to do, to fulfill your will, and to give you pleasure. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
You’re not the equivalent to vinegar to the teeth are you?