"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
The Sin of Laziness Part 2
As God raised a brand new nation, the nation of Israel, he gave us all the example of how a nation should function. In Deuteronomy 15:1-6
“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. 2 This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed. 3 From a foreigner you may exact it, but your hand shall releasewhatever of yours is with your brother. 4 However, there will be no poor among you, since the Lord will surely bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, 5 if only you listen obediently to the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.” NASB
As we can see in these verses, it is not God’s will for His people to be poor. It is God’s will for His people to be blessed. It is not God’s will for His people to borrow, but to lend. It is not God’s will for His people to be ruled by others as it refers to finances, but for us to rule over our own finances.
These verses clearly reflect the heart of God! However, there is indeed a “but”; in order for us to enjoy this amazing life style of Godly prosperity we must listen and obey very carefully to what the Lord commands us to do.
Beloved, when we are in debt we become slaves of somebody else; when we fall into poverty, as God’s people, it is evident that somewhere down the line we did not carefully listen and obey the Lord. We must then, repent and get back to the place where we can listen and obey the Lord so that we can get back to enjoying His prosperity. I know in my own life, I can’t blame the Democratic or the Republican Party, I can only blame myself!
God also establishes that the poor will always be among us, in Deuteronomy 15:7-11 the Bible tells us:
7 “If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; 8 but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. 9 Beware that there is nobase thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,’ and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to the Lord against you, and it will be a sin in you. 10 You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all [d]your undertakings. 11 For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.” NASB
Through these verses we can clearly see that we, as God’s people, have a duty to always be there for the poor in the land. We are not call to be an insensitive and cruel people. However, we can’t confuse helping the poor with helping the lazy. This is important because laziness leads to poverty; so it is very important that we, as God’s people, be able to discern if someone is poor just because they are a part of the poor in the land that will always be among us or if that person is poor as the direct result of his/her laziness. While we are call to help one group, what the Bible has to say about the other is indeed alarming. In Proverbs 14:23 the Bible tells us:
“In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” NASB
Other verses are even more direct:
“Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.” Proverbs 20:13 (NASB)
“Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 10:4 (NASB)
“A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest” Your poverty will come in like a vagabond And your need like an armed man. Proverbs 6:10-11 (NASB)