Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
How much do you sleep? More than you need? Surely a little extra sleep cannot hurt! But Solomon warned that a little sleep, a little dozing, and a little cuddling in bed can cost you. Too much sleep wastes precious time and causes drowsiness, which will surely steal success away and leave you in poverty, shame, and trouble (Pr 19:15; 23:21).
Upon seeing the overgrown field and vineyard of a foolish and slothful man, Solomon considered the man’s assets and drew a conclusion – the man enjoyed sleeping too much, and laziness would certainly reduce him to poverty (Pr 6:6-11; 24:30-34). He learned a lesson by his great understanding, and he wrote this proverb to teach you that lesson.
Sleep is needed for survival, success, and your spirit. But too much steals time, dulls your drive, and creates drowsiness. If you need 7 hours, set your alarm for 7. Do not turn it off and take 8. The extra hour will waste time, start a bad habit, and may make you sleepier.
Solomon wrote Proverbs for youth (Pr 1:4,8; 4:1). They often oversleep, especially in a lazy generation. When families operated farms, they had to get up early. But now every excuse is used for rising later and later. Solomon said, “Get up!” Great youth will get up.
What does everyone do when they stay in bed longer? They fold their hands and cuddle in the warm blankets (Pr 6:10). They turn back and forth, like a door on its hinges (Pr 26:14). Their metabolism continues to drop, and they wonder why they are still so tired!
The danger is a little sleep. Those who oversleep a lot are obvious sluggards. Solomon worried about a little sleep. It is a little more sleep every morning that builds bad habits and steals time. He declared: “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread” (Pr 20:13). Do not hit the snooze button! Get up!
Ants make hills and homes, one grain of sand at a time. An extra thirty minutes in bed amounts to eight days lost each year. If you kept that up for a lifetime, you would waste a year and a half vegetating in bed. If you had worked those wasted minutes during working years and invested the earnings at 5%, in U.S. terms it comes to over $1 million!
No wonder Solomon wrote next that poverty would come as surely as a traveler gets to his destination and as surely as an armed man can rob an unarmed man. Poverty is your certain future, if you approach duties sluggishly. Poverty is an irresistible force, if you like to sleep. The lesson is a financial warning of the consequences of sleeping too much.
Great men and women get up and get to work. In agreement with this proverb, it has been said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” The virtuous woman rose early and stayed up late, not to be a martyr, but to be productive (Pr 31:15,18). Men and women that get up early and work hard always sleep better (Ec 5:12).
Attitude is more important than hours of sleep. A contented man that fears God, loves Jesus Christ, and is thankful for his job, gets up with excitement and zeal every day. He will not live any other way. He wants to get his hands on what he has to do, and he wants to do it with all his might (Ec 9:10). Do you have the right work attitude and work ethic?
A little spiritual slumber brings spiritual poverty. Just ask Peter, who could not watch one hour with Jesus in Gethsemane. If you do not make prayer and reading a priority each day, you will be spiritually bankrupt. Paul said, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Eph 5:14-21; Rom 13:11-12; I Thess 5:6-10).