Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
Providers her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
Industry is a regular theme of the Proverbs because it is a central theme of godly wisdom. A dear friend once told me, “I think that much of the problem with the world today is that we no longer talk about the story of the ant and the grasshopper.” This fable contrasts the ant who works to store up for the winter, and the grasshopper who chooses leisure all summer long. The ant survives the winter and depending upon the source, the grasshopper is either reduced to beg from the ant or simply dies. Rest and leisure are never condemned in scripture. In fact, we find them regularly commanded for Israel in the Sabbaths and the Feasts. Laziness, however, is universally condemned. Physical laziness and spiritual laziness alike defy the very character of our God. God designed humanity for constructive and sweet labor in every sphere, and any form of sloth flies in the face of all that He is and all that He has created us to be.