I Went By The Field Of The Slothful
Proverbs 24:30 – I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
Proverbs 24:31 – And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
Proverbs 24:32 – Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
Proverbs 24:33 – Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
Proverbs 24:34 – So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
Hello readers, back with a short blog today. “I went by the field of the slothful”. Recently I was reading this in Proverbs, and it took on a whole new meaning to me. Like with any blog, I never really touch the hem of the garment of the thing, and I believe if you read for yourself, and meditate on God’s word, God can and will show you many wondrous things out of his law just as he promises. I had always understood these verses in a practical earthly living sense. And it is true in that sense. But I realized that the greater application of these verses is in the spiritual realm, and it is a warning to Christians for today. These verses are badly needed verses for professing Christians.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines slothful as “inactive, lazy, sluggish, idle.” You may have heard of an animal called a sloth, and it is called such because it doesn’t do anything, it’s renowned for it’s slow movement. It’s so slow. It just hangs there. Slothfulness is killing Christians today, it is a Christian killer, and it’s killing Christians who are well off, who are comfortable, who aren’t moving anywhere in life, and they’re doing nothing. We need to get moving, we need to stop being so comfortable and happy with where we are, and start pressing toward the mark and redeeming the time that God has given us. One day it will be too late, because as Jesus said, night is coming, when no man can work. You have been given today, what will you do with it?
If you’re not doing anything in your Christian life you are slothful. It is good for each one of us to ask ourselves, have I become slothful? Are you a spiritual sloth? We can get very slothful as Christians, the whole thing just becomes religious duty that we do to the bare minimum. None of it is really that real to us, none of the truths we know have really affected what we are doing. We are slow moving creatures. God can’t g et us to do nothing. We have no fire, no motivation, no zeal, no commitment, if Christianity is a race that is set before us, we have long ago put off running it.
Solomon went by the field of the slothful… and he saw some things in that field that instructed him. An instruction he received. And may we receive some instruction from the word of God and the Holy Spirit today. Are we capable anymore of receiving instruction? Slothfulness is the marker of many a professing Christian today. They’re lazy, they’re idle, they’re not doing anything. All they’re interested in doing is sleeping. They don’t read, they don’t pray, they don’t witness, they don’t care. Jesus Christ said “I must be about my Father’s business”. The Bible says that “the zeal of my house hath eaten me up”. Do you have any zeal for God’s word? Do you have anything in you that desires for God’s word, that desires to know him more, obey him more, and make a difference in this dark evil world? Where is the commitment, the dedication, the discipline, the fire? Do you care for your Father’s business? Or are you sleeping when you should be working? We don’t work to be saved, but we should work because we are saved. Keeping that field is work, keeping the thorns and nettles out is work, fixing that broken wall is work.
It’s interesting that being slothful and being void of understanding are in the same verse. Because they are connected thoughts. Just how slothful are you in reading the Bible? If you’ve been slothful in reading your Bible, it will show, and it will manifest itself in a man or woman who is void of understanding. Understanding comes from reading and believing and obeying the Bible, it comes from the God who knows all things. He’s not just going to beam it into you if you don’t even care enough for understanding to even physically reach for your Bible to read a line or two. How slothful are you in witnessing? How slothful are you in prayer? How slothful are we in obeying God’s word. You know how long God takes me to get me to do things that I should have done years ago? I am guilty of being slothful, and particularly in a spiritual sense. I just dont move. I just don’t do what I should do. I so easily choose the easy path of not reading my Bible or not doing or saying what I should. I so easily go to sleep on God and to what’s important and what matters. I don’t realize the seriousness of neglecting my field that God has given me just because I can’t be bothered. Nothing gets done because I put it off because I’m too lazy, I’m comfortable being idle, I’m frozen in inactivity and procrastination.
The sloth doesn’t move because he’s happy where he is. And the slothful didn’t even realize what was going on in his field because he was too tired and it was too much effort for him to even think, let alone do something. He didn’t see the value and importance in going into his field to clean it out and produce in it. God has given us a field to work in each of our lives, are you working that field? Are you honestly working the field God gave you. If he gave you a field and you put zero man hours into it, how absolutely shameful is that going to be at judgment.
If you are slothful in reading your Bible, you will also be void of understanding. Christians today are void of understanding because they’ve been slothful in reading and believing and obeying God’s word. Their slothfulness shows, just like the slothfulness showed in that field that Solomon passed by. You know, he was king, and you think when he looked at that field that he would ever bother knocking on that guys door? You think that’s a guy he’d say hey, there’s a guy who looks after his field, there’s a guy who’s diligent, there’s a guy I can use! Err… no. It never even got to conversation stage because the slothful’s slothfulness had already spoken to Solomon. God will not use and reveal himself to slothful idiots. Why did God use David? Because David was out there keeping his father’s sheep. David went and got his lamb back from that lion and from that bear. David could’ve thought, oh well, too much effort to find it, but no, he got up and got going. He showed initiative, he showed commitment, he showed care, his God was a reality to him, not just some empty meaningless head knowledge which he did nothing with. See, faith is a belief that does something with what God has said. It’s far more than intellectual assent, it’s heart belief, it’s changed life, it’s a life that as David wrote, followeth hard after thee.
We are so slothful. Christendom and churches are like they are because of the slothfulness of the pastors and teachers and congregation. Everyone’s slothful. Comfortable, happy, full, satisfied, slow, not going anywhere. If you were truly convinced of God’s word it would change where your priorities and values are. But they haven’t been changed, because you’re not truly convinced of God’s word as the truth. You aren’t convinced of his holiness. You aren’t convinced he is worthy of your fear and reverence and love and service. Look what’s in the field. Look what churches are producing. Look at the sin in there. Look at the darkness in there. Look at the lack of fear of God in there. The field is speaking to you, to me, and more important, the field is speaking to God. Because his eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Are you slothful? Have you been slothful in hearing and obeying God’s word? If we are slow in obeying him, it’s because we are even slower in hearing him. A sloth is so slow it’s actually stopped. When there is no seeking, when there is no searching, when there is no knocking, don’t expect doors to be opened to you. We want God to do it all for us and honour our slothfulness, but he won’t but it won’t be so. Many Christians have a field that has been overrun by weeds. Instead of a life of faith and obeying God and salt and light… it’s a thorny life. Instead of the fruit of the Spirit, it’s the thorns of pride and lust and self and sin. Just how useful are thorns to other people? Hardly. Who would desire your field full of thorns? What can your thorns do for anyone else. Everything in your life is repelling people from the God you say you serve. Your life speaks today. Your life may be the only epistle someone ever reads? What epistle is that? Is a life of negligence and laziness and idleness the only testament they’ll ever receive?
Are you all grown over? When your life should be bearing fruit, when your life should be a good field, it’s a life overrun and taken over by Satan, by the world and by sin. It’s easy to get all grown over. If you get sloppy and lazy and slothful in your life, something is going to grow in your field. Instead of good soil, and a good crop and a good harvest… it’s going to be a field full of thorns and nettles, a tribute to a life with zero dedication and commitment and discipline toward God. What kind of field, what kind of a life, what kind of a witness do you want to have? People can see you field, they look over the fence into what you’ve been up to, and they see a man or a woman who has been slothful toward the God they profess.
Slothfulness will produce a broken wall. There’s a lot of things broken in Christianity today. There are truths that have been broken down. They haven’t been watched, maintained, guarded or repaired. There’s been noone checking the walls, keeping the walls, who even realizes the importance of those walls. Walls keep stuff in and keep stuff out. There are things that need to be kept in and kept out. We need to keep what’s true and we need to keep out what is not. And that takes some care, some maintenance, some realization, some insight. All which you do not have if you haven’t been in God’s word and don’t know God’s will. Not because you can’t, but because you’re too lazy to. You see, you have to do some maintenance on your life or that old serpent might just find his way into your life. Imagine if you had some sheep or cattle in that field, but the wall was broken, and because you’re not out there because you’re too lazy, you don’t realize all your sheep going out through the breach in the wall. When you are slothful, you will start losing. You will lose what’s precious, and what will come in will be things that should never be in your field, in your life. There’s a lot of things in our lives and thinking and speaking and doing that should never be in there, but they’re in there because there’s been no watching and no praying. Instead there has been sleeping. “While men slept” Jesus said… and while men slept in came the enemy and sowed his tares in that field. A lot has gone on while you’ve been asleep. Why is the enemy the only one who’s committed and diligent and motivated?
When you should be awake and diligent and keeping your field, you’re sleeping, because you’re tired, you’ve had enough, you’ve quit on God, you’ve stopped believing, you’ve stopped pressing forward, that race that you were supposed to be running has turned into barely a crawl. And your life is in a state of ruin. There is a reason you have to watch and guard and pray and be vigilant and diligent and be disciplined and committed… because that is what is required for the time and hour and world in which we live.
Think about all those walls that have been broken down. The wall of salvation is broken down. The wall of the deity of Jesus Christ. The wall of who God is and what God has said. We have got broken walls, breached walls, walls that are good for nothing. The wall is only as good as where the break is. Remember that. You could have a perfect wall, but one breach in it, and the rest of the wall is useless. You’re only going to be as good as where the break is in your life. You might have things mostly in order, but where you don’t have it in order, where you have neglected, where you let Satan make a breach, that is what is going to be your undoing. We need to fix the broken wall before it is too late. Truth is a wall for us, and Satan has injected his lies into our life and we are now good for nothing. People that are against walls don’t realize how important walls are. You have walls to keep you safe, to keep stuff out that you don’t want in. Walls divide, and God has put a wall up between what’s right and wrong, what’s truth and what’s lie, what’s heaven and what’s hell. Keep that wall that God gave you to be a safe border for you and your family.
Who would go to this slothful person for anything? When you see the slothful’s field, would you ever go to him for advice or help? I don’t think so. Many people are looking at your field, they are looking at your life, they’re looking at where the proof is for what you say. And sadly, we come up well short. If I look at my own field, it’s in a pretty sorry state. Walls are broken that should not be. There are things growing in my life, things that started with seed, which took root, which have sprung up, and taken over. What sin has grown in your life and taken over? What lies of Satan took root and now have filled out your field. And when those nettles and thorns take over, guess what, nothing else can grow. Nothing else will grow in your life until you get your brush cutter out. Something is going to be growing in your field, it’s just a matter of what. Just or most of us, it’s thorns and nettles. When we should be growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, instead there is a life of sin growing in there.
Guess what comes next? Poverty and want. That’s where slothfulness and sleep will take you. What you’re doing now is going to come back on you. You fail to read your Bible, and you will be spiritually impoverished. You fail to pray, and your Christian life will be dry and dead. You don’t care about souls? And your life will be a waste. And there will be no fire, no light, there will be nothing of value that you have for someone else. At a time where we should be watching, we were sleeping. When we should have been guarding and building, we have been let things get broken down. When we should be repairing, we can’t be bothered to do so. Laziness, idleness, sleepiness… slothfulness has killed the Christians of this generation.
When you can’t provide for yourself because you’ve put off reading your Bible, guess what you’ll do. You’ll start traveling. You’ll be asking others for something. The amount of Christian parasites out there is amazing. You know what? You can get stuff from God’s word for yourself. You don’t need to rely on someone else. God made you a priest to him through Jesus Christ. But most people live off the experiences and work and lives of others. And you lay yourself wide open as well, because you have been so slothful and reliant and church and government dependent, you will never amount to anything in your life. You’re on Christian welfare when you should be for others welfare. You’re a taker, not a giver. You’re a sponge. Read for yourself. Obey for yourself. Follow God yourself. Know for yourself. Take it from “ye have heard” which Jesus dealt with to “it is written” and “but I say unto you”. Maybe what you have heard is wrong. Maybe you’re living off someone else’s lies because you’re so slothful with the truth yourself. Read and believe and obey the Bible for yourself, stop living off others. Be dependent on God, not on man. There’s a lot of Christian travelers out there. They travel from church to church, from Bible to Bible, from truth to truth. Stop travelling and start believing and obeying.
If you haven’t been in your Bible, if you’ve been slothful, you will not be armed for what’s ahead. We are meant to arm ourselves because faith is a fight. We are in a spiritual battle. If you are going to be a soldier, what do you do? You prepare, you get ready, you make sure you have armor and a sword and know how to use it. An armed man needs supplies, if you are in a fight, and you are not supplied and being resupplied, how will you continue the battle? An armed man needs ammunition for the fight, if you’re a Christian and you’re in a fight, you will be found wanting if there are no inputs into your life because of slothfulness in reading the Bible and praying to God. Christians aren’t armed, but guess what, they’re running into people who are armed. What are you going to do against someone who is armed if you’re not armed? People will come at your armed with all sorts of facts, science, evidence, lies, truths… what will you do if you’ve been slothful and you’re unprepared, unready, and unarmed? What happens when a traveller comes to you and you’ve got nothing to give them because you didn’t till your field? What happens when someone wants to know how to be saved and you don’t even know what the gospel is yourself?
Most of us are not armed, not ready, not equipped, not prepared… because we’ve been slothful. A slothful Christian lives off welfare. They don’t produce themselves or others… they rely on others producing, they rely on others doing the work. Are you living off others and relying on someone else having done the study, done the reading, done the praying, done the preparing? Imagine if Noah had been slothful with God’s word, imagine if he’d put off building that ark because it was too much work. He and his whole family would have died in the flood and you and I wouldn’t be here today. We really do need to get honest with ourselves about how slothful we are in relation to our walk with God. How’s your field going, what story is that field telling? Instead of harvest and fruit, it’s thorns and nettles. Instead of the wall of truth and salvation, everything is broken in disobedience, neglect and laziness. If we are being honest, often we are quite slothful, and it’s hurting our own life and our life toward others.
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Joseph View All →
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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