Proverbs 10:4

He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”

The previous two proverbs emphasized how the Lord provides for the needs of the righteous; this and the next proverb show what’s required on your part (see also one of Solomon’s fatherly talks about this, Prov 6:6–11).

A “slack hand” is a figure of speech, with “hand” referring to your actions, what you do. Combined with “slack” (idle, lazy) the picture is someone who’s hands aren’t doing anything but leaning on the shovel watching the day go by or folded in the lap while dozing away. Don’t presume that you can just sit around and wait for God to provide because he is gracious and giving. Poverty is the sure end of those who refuse to work.

In contrast to the slacker is the “hand of the diligent,” one who works hard and steadily. There isn’t anything flashy about steady, earnest, sweaty, day-after-day work, but that is God’s will and how he provides for your needs (cf. also Eph 4:28; 1 Thess 4:11–12; 2 Thess 3:12). Believers must pray for their daily bread and work hard for it!

  1. Being lazy isn’t something you have to learn, it is the natural tendency of your sin nature. How can you put that to death and put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Col 3:5a)?
  2. Would others say you are a hard worker? Are you?
  3. Pray the Lord helps you to be more diligent and less of a slacker! Start doing so now!
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