Proverbs 18:9

A Great Waster

9a He also that is slothful in his work

1. Slothful Defined:

a. Dict. of Bib. Lang.: Be lazy; formally, limp, i.e., habitually refuse to put in effort or work, as the opposite of diligent, focused labor.

b. Strong’s: Relax; let go; refrain; let alone; let drop; be idle; to show oneself slack… lazy.

c. Usage
• Used in Ex. 5:8 – they be idle (lazy)
• Used in Josh. 18:3 – slack to go in the land (not diligent)

2. WORK defined

a. Occupation, work, duties, business, workmanship, property.

b. Usage:
• Ex. 20:9 – work – the labor of our hands.
• Ex. 22:8 – thy neighbor’s goods (property)

3. Slothfulness in our occupation

a. We all have chores at work that are less than desirable, yet necessary.

b. But when we don’t pay attention to the details, it will eventually catch up to us.
• The carpenter who is too lazy to check the level…
• The auto mechanic who doesn’t tighten the bolts…
• The school teacher who doesn’t read her material…

c. It will affect our overall work output… the quality of our work… the amount of our work…

d. And that will certainly be noticed in the upper office.

e. Slothfulness will prevent us from advancing at work.

f. The slothful man will always be poor… he will never obtain wealth.

4. Slothful with our schoolwork

a. Neglecting to finish homework

b. To lazy to study for a test

c. That student will end up with poor grades.

d. He COULD have been an A student, but instead was a D student.

e. He COULD have gotten into the college of his choice, but was not accepted.

f. Now he’s 32 and still flips hamburgers.

5. Slothful with our bodies

a. Not eating properly…

b. Not exercising…

c. Not cleaning…

d. Not getting our yearly check up…

e. Not doing what the doctor says…

f. We might live to regret it…

g. Our health will suffer because of our slothfulness.

h. This man may have a great potential to be healthy, but through sloth is not.

6. Slothful with our property

a. Ecc. 10:18 – House—letting things go.

b. Painting things so they don’t rust.

c. Food – let it rot in the fridge.

d. Car – not checking the oil.

e. Lawn mower – oil; neglecting to put in stabilizer.

f. When you add it all up, slothfulness diminishes the quality of our lives… and decreases the value of our property.

7. Prov. 10:4 – The slothful man ends up with NOTHING… poor.

a. Slothfulness leads to poverty. (Prov. 24:30-34)

b. And HE is to be blamed.

c. He ends up with nothing because of laziness; slothfulness.

d. He COULD have ended up with much, but because he was slothful, he ended up with nothing—or not much.

e. This man has a great POTENTIAL to prosper, but because of slothfulness does not. He ends up with nothing.

f. This man, through slothfulness, WASTES his potential… and ends up with nothing.

8. Slothful in spiritual things

a. Not reading the Word

b. Not spending time in prayer

c. Not spending time in fellowship around spiritual things

d. Not witnessing

e. Not going to church, prayer meeting, Sunday school, etc.

f. The bottom line of that kind of slothfulness is a lack of progress in our spiritual growth…

g. Heb. 5:12-14 – We can remain as babes when we SHOULD have grown to maturity!

h. By not exercising ourselves spiritually, we lose ground… we regress spiritually… and easily become carnal babes again.

i. This man had great potential to advance, but through laziness he did NOT advance.

9. In the second part of the proverb, Solomon tells us that this man has a brother… a kindred spirit.

9b Is brother to him that is a great waster.

1. Waster defined

a. Strong’s: To destroy; corrupt; go to ruin; decay; to be marred; be spoiled.

b. It appears 147 times, but it is translated “waste or wasted” only twice.

c. Most often it has the meaning of ruined, decayed, spoiled.

d. Good fruit left on the counter idle will become ruined, and thus wasted…

e. The waster is one who starts off with something good… but through neglect, wastes it… and it becomes ruined.

2. Usage

a. Jer. 13:7 – the girdle was “marred”

b. Something of value was left to rot… and it did rot. It became worthless.

c. That seems to be the sense here.

3. The idea in the first part of the proverb was that one who is slothful wastes potential wealth through slothfulness. He could have gained a lot, but he was lazy and didn’t.

4. The man in the second part of the proverb already has property, and allows his property to rot and rust… and that is a great WASTE.

a. Good fruit left on the counter and is not eaten, rots, is ruined, destroyed, and is thus wasted.

b. A metal shed that is neglected and left unpainted will rust, and be destroyed, and thus wasted. With simple upkeep—a coat of paint once in a while, it could have lasted 20 years. Instead, in three years it is a rusted piece of junk.

c. The same is true of a multi-million dollar mansion or a yacht.

d. This kind of waste may be through neglect or LAVISH living.

e. Prov. 20:21 – Often young men receive LARGE inheritances, and through wasteful, lavish living, in no time, it is gone… and they are poor once again.

5. These two brothers are DIFFERENT:

a. The first brother may not be rich. He starts off with nothing, but has great potential to be rich and prosperous.
• However, he is lazy, and wastes his potential.
• He ends up with nothing.

b. The second brother possesses a lot, but wastes what he has.
• This person may well be wealthy… but lets his wealth slip through his fingers… so it is ruined… destroyed.
• His father worked 50 long, hard years to build up the business, but in two short years, he drove it into the ground… by spending more than he made… buying more than he needed.
• He may be like the prodigal son—who took a large amount of money, lived lavishly and foolishly, and ended up with nothing.

6. But in another sense, these two men are ALIKE: both end up with nothing!

a. One man ended up with nothing through slothfulness.

b. The other man ended up with nothing through wasting what he had.

c. Both men are to be equally pitied. Both are fools.

d. In this sense, they are BROTHERS… poor, foolish, wasteful brothers.

e. They were BOTH wasters.
• One wasted his wealth.
• The other wasted his potential.
• One wasted wealth he already had.
• The other wasted wealth he could have had.

f. The lazy man is a brother to one who wastes.
• The man with a potential to earn a million dollars (but who through laziness doesn’t) is a brother to the millionaire who wastes what he has.
• It is a pitiful waste no matter HOW it is wasted.

7. What a pity when this is true in the spiritual realm.

a. When we are lazy spiritually, we are wasting opportunities God gives us to bear fruit… and we waste the opportunity to be storing rewards in heaven.

b. Opportunity wasted is truly destroyed…. Ruined… lost forever. It can never be regained.

c. God gives us all talents and gifts to be used for His glory.
• This proverb teaches about the danger of waste.
• Some men may have only one gift, but waste it through sloth—too lazy to develop their spiritual gift and use it for the Lord. They waste the opportunity to use it.
• Other men have many gifts but carelessly throw them away…

d. What a pity when a believer wastes God’s time, and through slothfulness, he never develops his spiritual gifts…

e. What an equal pity when another believer does develop his spiritual gifts… he goes to Bible college, he learns theology, takes courses in homiletics, hermeneutics, masters the piano and violin, and he then lets his talents ROT by not using them in the local church for God’s glory.

f. Both are pitiful wastes… they are brothers.

g. Col. 4:5 – redeem the time—buy it up and use it for God’s glory!