Summary: A little laziness would ruin a great harvest. It is time for us to be busy for Christ and reap a mighty harvest.
I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.
This is considered to be last of Solomon’s original compilation.
Here Solomon described the vineyard of a lazy man. He uses terms such as thorns, nettles and broken walls – to indicate that the vineyard is totally destroyed.
What caused the destruction?
The man was blessed – blessed to have a vineyard, when there would have been so many people around him, too poor to own a field. However, he was neglectful.
If you would have got a chance to interview him, he would have probably given you a list of excuses. (In fact, we all have excuses for our laziness)
1. He may say, I have a field, but the ground is not fertile. I know that nothing will grow if I plant. It is a waste of time, so I did not try at all.
However, a deep analysis reveals that this excuse cannot be accepted since the field was covered with nettles. Some translations refer to them as weeds. Ground that is capable of producing nettles could also produce other fruits and vegetables since the same minerals that produce these healthy nettles can also produce something worthwhile.
Many give this excuse for not putting in efforts they need to. They blame the situations around them, they try to put the blame on the people around them. This is the excuse we give to the Lord as well. When Jesus expects us to do something for Him, we are quick to give excuses – I don’t have that talent, I can’t sing like them, I can’t preach like him.
1 Peter 4:10 - As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Bible makes it clear that each of us is endowed with a gift which we need to use. The parable of talents (Matthew 25:14-30) makes it clear that we need to give account of it to the Lord.
2. The second excuse that the lazy man would have given - Even if I grow the crop, animals would get into the garden and ruin everything.
Even this excuse cannot be accepted. The passage clearly says that the field once had stone walls, but they were in ruins.
Why was the wall there? To protect the garden and keep the wild animals away. The walls were made of stone which means that they were really strong. But this lazy man neglected the walls so much so that it broke down giving room for wild animals.
This is another reason many give. They say that we have more attacks of the enemy if we move close to God. However, let us remember that if we are in Christ and fear Him, the Lord places a hedge around us.
Job feared God, shunned evil and sacrificed regularly to God (Job 1:5, 8). This resulted in a hedge around him placed by God. Satan tried to attack him but he could not because of the hedge.
Job 1:10 - Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
That hedge protected Job, his household and everything that belonged to him.
Result – Whatever he did was blessed. He became rich.
This is the secret to every blessing. We need to have the hedge of God around us. This would protect us, our family and everything that belongs to us.
How did Job receive that hedge?
1. He feared God
What is the fear of God?
Psalm 34: 11 - 14 - Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
2. He offered sacrifice (Job 1:5) – blood was shed.
The blood of Jesus today hedges us. As long as we are covered in the Blood, nothing can touch us. However if we allow little foxes to enter our lives, our hedge will be ruined
Songs of Solomon 2: 15 - Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines