Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
Picture a lazy fool in bed. The sun peaks over the horizon; the clock shows it is time to get up; the night is over, and there is work to do. He sleeps a little longer; he loves his warm bed; he folds his hands and cuddles in his comfy cocoon. He is a lazy fool. He is a loser. Poverty will soon get him (Pr 6:11). His drowsy approach will ruin him (Pr 23:21).
He ought to get up, but he does not like to work. He prefers to sleep. He tries to postpone work by staying in bed. Maybe the work will go away, and he can sleep all day, he dreams. Maybe another fifteen minutes in bed will make it easier to get up. It feels so good, he mumbles; surely there is nothing wrong with something that feels this good!
Solomon warned against laziness and sleeping too much (Pr 6:6-11). Sleeping is a big temptation for young men, so he repeated these words again (Pr 24:30-34). He mocked the cuddling sluggard, “As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed” (Pr 26:14). He rolls back and forth, finding new positions, rather than getting up!
You cannot make money in bed. More minutes in bed wastes time and opportunity. Real men get up. They do not hit the snooze button. They hit the deck. They turn the lights on. They wash their faces. They punch the air. They stretch and flex. They smack their hands. They thank God for another day. They rejoice to be up before slothful neighbors.
Young men love sleep. They nursed and slept all day to begin life. They do not know the duty of supporting a family. They do not appreciate a paying job. Life so far has been eating, playing, and sleeping. They want to sleep until they feel like getting up, which is often about noon. They have not learned too much sleep makes you sleepy (Pr 19:15).
Sleep must be ruled like other things. You need a certain amount, and taking more is slothfulness. Temperance, or self-discipline, is key. Drunkards drink too much; sluggards sleep too much. You cannot sleep all you want anymore than you can drink all you want. Good habits can be formed, and the body and mind will adjust to think them very right.
Loving sleep is as wrong as loving wine, for it leads to compromise of your temperance. Solomon wrote, “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread” (Pr 20:13). A big step to success is the first step in the morning. Get up! Get going! You will be glad you did, once you get up and get going.
Parents! Teach your children to get up by example and rules. Though you have lost the early morning chores of the farm, you can still expect them to be up early and attacking the day. Girls need the rule at least as much, for virtuous women do not sleep in (Pr 31:15). They also need to learn that there is much that can be done early in the morning.
You should be thankful the LORD God of heaven does not slumber or sleep, which is an inspired reason to put your complete trust in Him to help and protect you (Ps 121:1-8). The Lord Jesus Christ did not oversleep in His life and ministry, for He knew He should be at work doing the will of God while He had the opportunity (Jn 9:4; 11:9-10; 12:35).