Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
You can learn much from others' actions and their consequences. Observation and analysis is one of life's great teachers, and Solomon was a master at wisely considering all he saw (Eccl 1:12-14; 2:11-13). It is your duty to learn from the mistakes of others and to teach your children to do so as well (Pr 19:19; 22:29). You can also learn by observing and following the good character and example of wise men (Ps 37:37; Phil 3:17-21).
Solomon here condemned lazy men (Pr 24:30-34). One of the first lessons parents must teach children is to get out of bed, work hard, and finish the job. Laziness is condemned often in Proverbs (Pr 6:6-11; 10:4; 12:24; 19:15,24; 20:4,13; 22:29). Observing and analyzing ants can lead to this wisdom (Pr 6:6-8; 30:25)! Solomon knew his son's success required his diligence, and he also wanted him to reject lazy administrators.
Poverty is relatively easy to explain. Solomon saw that love of sleep cost many men their financial success. When he viewed derelict homes and property, he realized that the certain consequences of laziness had come to roost at those addresses. Men who enjoy sleeping in the morning and procrastinating in the evening will surely end up poor. Of course, the poor often have their ready excuses, but the facts of life are still the same.
A wise parent can be like Solomon to children. He can point out losers in life and the certain results that come when the Bible is not obeyed. Life can be the lesson guide for social studies in folly and wisdom! Son, do you see the shutters falling off that house? The owner intends to get to them, but he always finds a reason to wait! If he does not fix them soon, the house will eventually fall down, just like the Bible says (Eccl 10:18)!
Reader, do you know the Bible well enough to see its proof in the world around you? Can you see the fulfillment of Scripture in the dysfunctional lives and political chaos of this foolish world? Can you teach your children and others the painful consequences of rejecting God's Word? Do you know how to draw object lessons from creatures small and large (Pr 30:24-31)? Or are you so deficient that this task sounds near impossible?
Why are many homeless men drunkards? Because drunkenness and gluttony bring rags (Pr 23:21)! Why do some children scream in restaurants? They need the cure (Pr 29:15)! Will financial stinginess bring success? No, it will bring poverty (Pr 11:24-26)! Why do some men spend their free time in a boring hobby? Because they are escaping an odious woman at home (Pr 21:9,19)! Are there consequences to adultery? Just death and hell (Pr 9:18)! Is it okay to listen to political activists? If you want to die young (Pr 24:21-22)!
Why is sexual sin and violence so popular? Because it is glamorized on television (Ps 101:3; I Cor 15:33)! Why are Catholic nations often poor? Because from childhood they deny reality by assuming a cracker is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ (I Cor 11:24-25)! Why is there considerable sodomy and pedophilia among their priests? Because they rejected God's role for the woman (I Tim 4:1-3; Rom 1:27; I Cor 7:1-5)!
Are there profitable lessons from observing good men? Solomon saw that those who fear God are successful and should be followed in life (Eccl 7:18). The Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 provides a great cloud of witnesses as to the profit of believing and obeying God (Heb 11:2; 12:1). And the Lord Jesus Christ, Who suffered willingly to obey God, is now set down at God's right hand with great honor and glory (Heb 12:2; Ps 16:8-11).