An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 178 – Laziness and Strife (Proverbs 26:13-21)

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1. Does a slothful person try to find excuses not to work?
Yes: “The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets” (Proverbs 26:13).

  • Proverbs 15:19, Proverbs 20:4, Proverbs 22:13, and Matthew 25:14-30.

2. Does the slothful man get out of bed?
As a door that does nothing but turn, the slothful likes to stay in one place [bed]: “As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed” (Proverbs 26:14).

  • Proverbs 6:6-11, Proverbs 20:13, Proverbs 24:30-33, and Isaiah 56:10.

3. Is the slothful man concerned about feeding himself?
No: “The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth” (Proverbs 26:15).

  • Proverbs 12:27, Proverbs 13:4, Proverbs 19:15, and Proverbs 19:24.

4. How wise does a sluggard convince himself that he is?
Wiser than seven reasonable men: “The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason” (Proverbs 26:16).

  • Fools are right in their own eyes (Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 14:16, Proverbs 16:2, Proverbs 30:12, Luke 18:9-14, II Corinthians 10:17-18, and Philippians 3:7-9).
  • Before we move away from our discussion of laziness, let’s be mindful that these points apply spiritually as well (Hebrews 6:10-12).

5. Is it wise to get involved in a fight that is not your own?
No: “He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears” (Proverbs 26:17).

  • Proverbs 18:6, Proverbs 20:3, II Timothy 2:23, and Titus 3:9-10.

6. Do people try to conceal what they really are saying or doing by statements such as, “I was just kidding”?
Yes: “(18) As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, (19) So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport” (Proverbs 26:18-19)?

  • Proverbs 15:21 and Ephesians 5:4.

7. Do talebearers add fuel to the fires of strife (so to speak)?
Yes: “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth” (Proverbs 26:20).

  • Talebearers reveal secrets (Proverbs 11:13 and Proverbs 20:19).
  • This causes harm (Proverbs 18:8).
  • Certainly, fuel is added to the fires of strife by talebearers (Proverbs 16:28, Proverbs 22:10, Proverbs 26:22, and James 3:5-6).

8. Do contentious individuals help situations involving strife?
No, they too fuel the fires: “As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:21).

  • There are those who love to stir up trouble (Proverbs 10:12, Proverbs 15:18, and Proverbs 29:22).
  • We’re to be peacemakers not troublemakers (Matthew 5:9, Romans 14:19, and Hebrews 12:14).
  • The church is not to have contentious individuals within (I Corinthian 11:16, I Timothy 6:3-5, and Titus 3:9-11) as those who are contentious are headed to Hell (Romans 2:8).