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Proverbs 15:19, The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
Open the Bible and immediately we see a picture of a working God.
Our first introduction to God in the Bible is to a God who is working in creating a universe.
He worked six days and made the heavens and the earth and everything that is in the heavens and in the earth.
And He has been at the job of sustaining that creation since He fashioned it. By him all things consist!
To be created in God's image means, in part, that people have the capacity to work, a capacity to fashion, a capacity to be creative.
Man is to work because he is made in God's image.
We are made to work. Hasn't God equipped you with the tools to work?
What are those hands for? What are those legs for? What is that mind for?
God does not create useless things. He expects those hands and legs and mind to be engaged in work!
One of the principles of scripture is that when we fulfill God's image in us then we are happy.
God has so ordained his creation to be fulfilled when his creation does his will.
All life is created to work.
None of his creation are allowed to function successfully in a slothful condition.
God has so ordained and fashioned his universe to guarantee this result.
As soon as man was created the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
God made the garden to need work and God made the man to work the garden.
It is the character of man to work because it is the character of God to work.
Our creator works, therefore we work. Work is not a punishment because of sin; work is a gift.
God will have work for us to do even when we get a new body because we will continue to be in the image of God who is a working God.
The notion that labor came into being as a result of humanity's fall is not biblical truth.
Sinless human beings were placed in the garden to dress it and to keep it.
Adam and Eve were given a garden that needed tending.
Paradise had its chores. Paradise needed the hands of Adam and Eve.
God so ordained this. He planned it.
Adam and Eve were needed. There is work to be done.
You are needed! The ability to work is a gift of God to man.
By work he allows us to enter into the maintenance of his work!
The entrance of sin into the world was not the reason for work but sin affected the ability of people to work and the difficulty of the work.
But as God expelled Adam and Eve from the garden, they were told they would have to labor hard to carve out a living.
When sin entered the world it hindered the progress of men's and women's efforts in work.
Sin thwarts our ability to work.
Satan does not want you to fulfill God's working image.
People's physical ability has been limited by the effect of sin.
A person's mental capacity has been drastically reduced by the ravages of sin.
Work, as with any blessing of God, has been robbed by sin.
So we have seen that work is a character of God and his creation.
Those that work fulfill God's plan for his creation. Those that don't do not fulfull God's plan.
You are designed to work and if you don't fulfill your design God has ordained his creation to thwart you.
There is a hedge of thorns in your way. Not just a few thorns but an impassable hedge of thorns.
You cannot get through it. It is a continual hedge in the way.
It has been placed there by God because he loves you and wants you to function as you were ordained to function.
Sloth is not the image of God. Sloth is rebellion against God's will.
The slothful by indecision, by sluggishness, by delay, allow the hedge to grow thicker thereby the hedge continues to hinder progress.
God in this proverb contrasts the slothful man with the righteous man.
The slothful man is a wicked man because he does not do the will of God. He does not work.
The slothful man expects God to work for him, instead of him working for God.
The slothful man expects God to be his errand boy, his gopher.
But the righteous man knows that God will help those who help themselves.
God required Moses to stretch out his arms before he parted the Red Sea for the children of Israel.
And he expected Moses to again stretch out his arms to close up the Red Sea upon the Egyptian pursuers.
The angel of the Lord broke the chains that bound Peter in prison but he said unto him:
Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
Goodness, the angel broke the chains, why couldn't he have had the sandals and the garment put on Peter by his angelic power?
Weren't they in a hurry? No, the principle is honored by God.
If you are given the ability to do it, God won't do it for you.
The slothful do not believe this and thus the Lord provides the hedge of thorns to remind him of the truth of this principle.
Slothful! The hedge of thorns will find you out!
Everything is designed to hinder your sloth. God does not promote sloth.
But God does promote the righteous because: the way of the righteous is made plain.
The Hebrew word for plain in this verse means to mound up as in preparation for a turnpike.
In other words the way of the righteous is made like an interstate highway!
God does not hinder the righteous with hedges of thorns.
His way is made plain. Straight ahead there is no hindrance.
There may be thorns to guide and to warn, but the way of the righteous is not a way of darkness and unconquerable difficulties.
Psalm 27:11 tells us that the Lord will teach me his way and his way will lead in a plain path.
God shows the righteous the path of life wherein is the fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore.
He makes the righteous to go in the path of his commandments which gives the righteous delight.
He provides the righteous the lamp of his word for his feet and lights the path so it is plain.
God compasses the path of the righteous which means he borders the path lest the righteous stray.
He keeps the righteous on the plain path. He is successful with the righteous.
And he tells us the the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
The path gets plainer for the righteous as the perfect day approaches.
Only a hedge of thorns for the slothful but a shining plain path that gets better every day for the righteous.