The hand of the diligent will rule, But the slack hand will be put to forced labor. Proverbs 12:24
Here is a proverb that shows the difference between the lazy man and the one who works hard and is diligent in his labor. Solomon begins with a look at the "diligent." This word referenced the hard-working farmer who plowed the ground and then planted his tilled soil. Such things in Solomon's day were much harder than what today's farmer does. It involved tilling the ground behind a team of oxen - or a mule. It required a person to keep working day after day until the ground was sufficiently broken up and ready for the seed to be planted. Hard working men and women will be rewarded. The passage here says that they will rule. This was the case in that day - and it still is in ours.
One might argue with me on this because of the growing welfare state that seems to be winning the day in our nation. There are a growing number of people who do not work hard, but rather choose to live off the provision of the United States' government. They actually choose NOT to work - and begin collecting various government benefits that are made available to lazy people in our nation. What is happening slowly is that this group of people are gaining power and are learning how to vote themselves further benefits. This is a signal of a nation's downturn. They reward the lazy because they know that as long as they can keep them dumb and filled, they will be safe. But the problem is when a critical mass is reached in a society. That mass is when the ones who pay the taxes are outnumbered by those who demand benefits from the taxes collected. In time such a system will collapse because it encourages laziness rather than hard work.
What will happen in time is that this system - under the weight of its own slothfulness - will fall. When that happens a new set of rulers will emerge. They will demand work - or they will not feed the begging masses. The slack hand (meaning the one that will not work) will be put to forced labor. Look at the socialist countries on the globe. They may have started as a welfare state - but when they have to convert to communism, they will take the lazy and force them to work. If they will not work - such countries let them starve and die.
The way for a nation to prosper is to teach the value of hard work and self-reliance. One thing that is true even now is that the ones who choose hard work - will rule themselves. They may have to pay exorbitant taxes, but in the end, they can choose their leaders. The ones given to laziness and a slack hand - will have to have the socialist and the welfare state rule over them. They are not free. They are in bondage to whoever will give them what they clamor for - more of everything. But as we see again and again, they will not get what they clamor for in life. They will get what paltry sum their leaders give them - and nothing more. Truly to be hard working is to be free - to be lazy is to be a slave to others.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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