It is ttruly irritating to have a lazy messenger or servant who should be taking care of something, but who is constantly late and ineffective in fulfilling their duties. That is what we learn about today in the proverb of the day.
Two pictures are given to us from every day life. The first is the way that vinegar set our teeth on edge. The kind of vinegar spoken of here is wine vinegar that was very sour as well as being very strong in its effect on a person's teeth. This would result in the person who drank it being very annoyed and disgusted with its taste. The other picture is the effect of smoke upon someone's eyes. When smoke gets in our eyes it is very annoying as well. We blink and rub our eyes from the irritation that they experience from the smoke.
These two pictures are now compared to a lazy person who does not do what they are supposed to do. To those who send the lazy person, there is great annoyance at their behavior as well as their inability to get the message to whom it should go - or get the work done that is assigned. Either way, there is great annoyance and disgust as they have to deal with another person's inability to do the job.
Amasa in 2 Samuel was one of these people. David sent him out to gather the armies of Israel in a certain time period. But Amasa delayed and did not do the job in a timely manner. David soon sent Joab to finish this work - concerned that Amasa's lack of diligence would cost him his kingdom or at least prolong the rebellion that was at hand. Either way, Amasa's laziness was causing David great annoyance. In the end, it also cost Amasa his life - for when Joab caught up with him later - he killed him.
If you have been given a task - wisdom is to be diligent in performing the task and doing it well. Make your authorities glad that they chose to work with you. Make them grateful to have someone who is not lazy and undisciplined in their work. To do otherwise is just to annoy them and possibly injure yourself with consequences for your laziness. Be diligent, work hard, and do not be an annoyance to those who send you.