Our first readings for the next three days are taken from the Book of Proverbs. Over these days our lectionaries give us a total of nineteen of the proverbs, and that is a meager sampling, since the Book of Proverbs contains 940 separate sayings.
In the old days a work like the Book of Proverbs was referred to as a book of sentences. The reason for that was that the book was used for students to practice writing and memorizing sentences. In that way many of the proverbs came into every day talk. People were always saying, “Spare the rod, and spoil the child.” Or. “Better safe than sorry.” To get a taste for the variety of the proverbs, today let’s just look at seven of them that deal with the lazy person they call the sluggard.
“The door turns on its hinges, and the sluggard turns on his bed.”
“As vinegar is to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to one who uses him as a messenger.”
“The man who is slack in his work is brother to the man who is destructive.”
“At seedtime the sluggard plows not, when he looks for a harvest it is not there.”
The sluggard’s laziness triumphs over his hunger when “The sluggard loses his hand in the dish.”
“The soul of the sluggard craves in vain.”