“He who gathers in summer is a wise son; he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.”
It’s plain to see from this and other proverbs that farming was the primary way people earned their living in Bible times. That’s far different than where we’re at today!
For the farmer, there’s only one time to bring in a crop, during harvest time. You can’t harvest after planting, while it’s growing, or months after the harvest. If the farmer in Old Testament times didn’t harvest his produce at the right time, he’d lose everything he worked for and would have nothing to live on.
What would you think of someone who invested time and money into a business venture and then when it was time to reap the fruits, he let it all go to waste because he was sleeping? What a fool! How shameful!
You must work diligently (v. 4) and at the right time (v. 5). If you don’t, you have only yourself to blame. Being lazy, slack, negligent, and idle are moral and spiritual issues. These proverbs address your responsibilities in life, not accidents or things that are out of your control. Too many make a fuss about what is or isn’t fair, but what are you doing to work and meet your needs?
- How much effort do you put into “harvest” time? It is hard work, but the Lord gives the increase; praise him for such and roll up your sleeves!
- Is there a time to “sleep”? How well will you sleep if you have nothing to live on?
- From this proverb, what must you do to be wise? To be foolish?