The problem with sleepwalking through a bad life is that it makes it worse

From chapter 6 of the Proverbs of Solomon:

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
have given your pledge for a stranger,
if you are snared in the words of your mouth,
caught in the words of your mouth,
then do this, my son, and save yourself,
for you have come into the hand of your neighbor:
go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor.
Give your eyes no sleep
and your eyelids no slumber;
save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

And then this from Proverbs 10.5:

He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.

Proverbs 19.15:

Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.

20.13:

Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.

and then full circle in Proverbs 24:

I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

So far so clear, but I wonder…

In the Bible, sleep as rest is not a bad thing. In the same chapter 6 we read:

My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.

Likewise Proverbs 3.21-24:

My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

So, let me make an intuitive leap. Maybe there are ways of sleeping while one is upright, walking, or sitting on the couch. Maybe loving “sleep” isn’t just sleeping in too late. Maybe it refers to the escapist witless stuff we all do rather than deal with reality. Remember what it is that destroys fools: “the complacency of fools destroys them” (Proverbs 1.32).

People don’t want to face up to their situation. They don’t want to believe that they are headed for poverty. They feel powerless to stop it. They would rather just forget and watch some TV.

The only way to stay awake is to live by faith.

Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.

Keeping track of your situation and working hard doesn’t automatically or obviously lead away from poverty. Your situation can appear entirely hopeless. But you have to trust God and show the diligence in stewardship that he wants from you.

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