Proverbs 6:11

So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.


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Poverty is your certain future, if you approach your job duties sluggishly. Poverty is an irresistible force, if you like to sleep. Wake up! Stand up! Get to work! Now! Keep poverty away by doing today’s duties (and maybe a few of tomorrow’s duties) right now.

Solomon taught his son the importance of diligent labor (Pr 6:6-11). He first told him to watch the ant, which works hard all summer to lay up food for the fall (Pr 6:6-8). Ants also work diligently and persistently without a teacher or ruler, for ants are self-starters. They do not need to be dragged from bed, told to get to work, and then reminded again!

Then he ridiculed sleep to shame his son for sleeping too much (Pr 6:9-11). He asked, “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard?” Love this perfect father, as he mocks the approach to life that is popular today. “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.” Love his sarcasm! You know what he thought about snooze buttons.

A traveler always gets to his destination. Even though the journey may take a while, he will eventually arrive at his chosen endpoint. It happens by kilometers or miles and by hours or minutes, but soon you are there. So it is with poverty. It may take a while to arrive and pull a man under, but it will surely arrive. And it will surely pull him under.

An armed man does not fear resistance, for he is armed. He will go where he pleases, and he will enter any building he chooses. You will not stop him, for he is armed. So it is with poverty. You cannot stop its intrusion into your life. Your defenses will crumble before its irresistible approach. Your efforts to avoid it will be in vain. You will go down!

You lazy sluggard! You effeminate sleeper! Hate the bed! Consider it a necessary evil. Solomon said, “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread” (Pr 20:13). Be early to work. Work overtime – in the morning. Most anything you can do at night after work, you can also do before work.

You think you are okay? Poverty is closer every day. You will borrow for your needs? Credit melts with poverty’s advance. You will seek a raise? Not with your reputation! You will beg? Good men let sluggards starve (Pr 20:4)! Poverty is coming. Get to work!

Spiritual poverty is also real, but far more costly than financial poverty. If you are lax and lazy about spiritual duties, your poverty in wisdom and your relationship with God will soon be exposed. The hypocrisy of your feigned spiritual wealth and relationship with God will disappear under His fiery trials and the discernment of godly men. Get to work!