“The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.” - Proverbs 21:25
The book of Proverbs is filled with immense practical truth. Scripture testifies to a strong work ethic; this proverb highlights that. A sluggard who is filled with his desire for sloth reaps death. There is no substitution for hard work. However, the sluggard himself has a substitute.
While the practical application of this proverb should not be overlooked, neither should the application of the gospel.
Spiritually speaking, we are all sluggards. Our desire for sin kills us. Real death is the necessary result of spiritual sloth. The sluggard’s refusal and inability to labor in law-keeping is his doom.
With Christ in view, the sluggard may live. Jesus was no sluggard – neither from a practical perspective or a spiritual one. Christ was not desiring sin when he was killed, but rather was put to death for our desire for sin. Christ did not refuse to labor, but rather, he labored hard in faithful obedience to God’s law. In His life, on the cross, and in His resurrection, Christ labored to accomplish salvation for spiritual sluggards like us. He worked in every area that we did not, and was killed so we would not be killed. His hands did not refuse to be stretched wide and nailed to a cross. His hands do not refuse to welcome sinful sluggards like us.
May we portray a small picture of Christ in putting our hands to the plow, both economically and missionally, knowing the work we could not do has been done for us.