Summary: Work is something God made us for
A Godly, Honorable Work
Proverbs 14:23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. 12:14 From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.
I’m going to use a four letter word that some of you might not like: WORK! It seems that no matter who we are, we don’t value the worth of work. Someone once said, “Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.” We find it very easy as humans to do that which comes easiest to us. What is easiest is not always best. We live in a society that has mixed views on work. Some like People to work many hours a week. It makes them think they will get ahead. They like to think that if they work early, stay late, and bring their work home with them it will be good. I like what one first grader told his dad about bringing his work home with him all the time. “Why don’t they just put you in a slower group?” Others do not like work and seek pleasure and entertainment. They only go to work Monday through Friday so they can spend the weekend in fun activities. Work is only an evil necessity that allows them to do the things they would rather be doing.
We want to look this morning at what the book of Proverbs has to tell us. We need to look first at Genesis. We find that in six days God created the heavens and the earth. Work was not evil. When God created Adam, he put him to work. “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Adam was put to work naming the animals. Work it seems to him was a joy and a pleasure. He did not say “God, why don’t you just name them yourself, I’m tired.” When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit it was then that work was part of the curse. “To Adam he said, "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground. So then work became viewed as a curse. God chooses to have us work to provide for our needs. We get into trouble when we try to bypass God’s plans. We think Work is a curse, so we try to do anything we can to avoid working. Let’s look at some of the ungodly ideas about work.
A. We find that Laziness, This is a common attitude in our society. Would you admit with me that often I feel lazy? Proverbs has a lot to say about laziness.
1. We see that Laziness brings want & lack, 6:6-11: Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and be wise! Even though they have no prince, governor, or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? I want you to learn this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; insufficiency will attack you like an armed robber. 20:4, If you are too lazy to plow in the right season, you will have no food at the harvest.
2. We see that laziness brings disgrace. 10:4-5: Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame.
3. We see that lazy men bother those whom they work for. 10:26: Lazy people are a pain to their employer. They are like smoke in the eyes or vinegar that sets the teeth on edge.
4. We see that laziness builds poor habits. 12:27: Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the hard-working make use of everything they find. Those who are to lazy to cook just eat junk food all the time? Some people just don’t like the work of preparing a good meal. That is why we have a generation of obese people. We can control what we eat and how much we eat.
5. We see that laziness ends up in unfulfilled desires. 13:4: Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied. Those who are lazy normally get nothing they really want. They tell themselves they are happy, but because they will not work, they do not get what they really want.