Proverbs 24:30-34

Proverbs 24:30-34

30 I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

We have moved on from the numbered Sayings 1-30 and now find ourselves in the Further Sayings of the Wise with an introduction via verse 23a These also are sayings of the wise and each is broken into what appear to be natural groupings in the NIV such as we have above in verses 30-34.

This group of verses is incredibly full of common sense packed into five verses. I have been the sluggard in times past and have also been the achiever. The change happened when I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw including what I saw of my own actions or rather inactions.

However there is even more to see here if we will only look a bit deeper. MacLaren’s Exposition shows where to look beyond the grownd covered with weeds and the some wall in ruins.

This picture of the sluggard’s garden seems to be intended as a parable. No doubt its direct simple meaning is full of homely wisdom in full accord with the whole tone of the Book of Proverbs; but we shall scarcely do justice to this saying of the wise if we do not see in ‘the ground grown over with thorns,’ and ‘the stone wall thereof broken down,’ an apologue of the condition of a soul whose owner has neglected to cultivate and tend it.

I have often enjoyed the old saying The only cure for inexperience is experience and then adding the only question is will it be our own experience or learning from other’s experience. I have found it to be much less painful to learn from other’s experience rather than my own.

Thus it is very important for each of us to be able to say I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw for according to Barnes Notes on the Bible

The “thorns” are evil habits that choke the good seed, and the “nettles” are those that are actually hurtful and offensive to others. The “wall” is the defense which laws and rules give to the inward life, and which the sluggard learns to disregard, and the “poverty” is the loss of the true riches of the soul, tranquility, and peace, and righteousness.

So, let us not only look at the sluggard, let us look at ourselves as well always knowing the following applies to our soul’s wellbeing as well as to our outward successes

33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.