Planning and preparation for the future provision is something that God encourages. Here we read about the sluggard and lazy man again. We read about how he does not want to work when he should be working. In the autumn a good farmer should be plowing so that he is ready to put in a crop. The sluggard does not want to plow - because he cannot see past the nose on his face when it comes to the future. Instead the sluggard has many more important things he thinks he needs to be doing. Most likely these things are play rather than work. So he applies himself to his own lazy pursuits and pays for it dearly in the end.
We read that when the harvest comes, the sluggard is begging for food. He has nothing because he has done nothing. While those who have planned and worked hard reap the fruits of their labor, the sluggard is looking at the big pile of nothing his laziness has provided for him. He is out begging - and playing the poor, pitiful me card.
I'm about to say something that needs to be said in our society. There are two kinds of needy people in the world today. There are the truly needy who have fallen on hard times. They are willing to work and desire to do the right thing - but for reasons beyond their control either health or other factors have put them in need. These people deserve our help and support through their difficult times. We want to offer them a hand up - because that is what they truly want - a hand up - as they regain their footing. They do not want a hand out - because their desire in the end is to be working and being self-sufficient once again. The second kind of needy person is the sluggard. He is the one who is needy because of his own lack of character and neglect. He does not work hard - he doesn't want to work at all. He is lazy and preoccupied with his leisure and desire for others to provide for him. To help this man is to hurt him in the end. What this man needs is to experience hunger and true desperation. He will cry out that others who are diligent and hard working have an unfair advantage. He will cry out that they get all the breaks - while he gets nothing. He will cry out that what government should do is tax and take from the diligent and give to those less fortunate. The problem is his "less-fortunate-ness" is his own doing - or lack of doing as this verse points out. To reward him with provision is to simply encourage him to continue in his laziness. What the sluggard needs is not a hand out - but a hand upside his head. He needs a serious reality check - and some hard knocks that will shake him out of his lethargy.
Scripture never begrudges providing for the truly poor and needy. But the same Bible that speaks of giving to the poor - also warns us that some of the poor are that way by slothful choice. These are the ones who need more than just some help financially - they need a serious fundamental moral change when it comes to their work ethic. When we offer them THAT help - we are truly helping them where their need is greatest.