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How to Interpret the Bible-1 INTERPRETING THE BIBLE how-to-study-your-bible1

Desiring Life

Proverbs 13:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
    while the soul of the diligent will be made fat.[1]

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing: The Hebrew word (atsel) rendered sluggard is used metaphorically for a lazy person, a person who is opposed, reluctant, or unwilling to work or exert himself. This person is habitually lazy or inactive, showing himself to have no discipline or initiative, a moral failure. Craves (Heb. avah) means to feel or have a strong yearning or desire for, long for, wanting something strongly. Nothing (Heb. ayin) means just what you would think, zero, naught, none, zilch, without.

While the soul of the diligent will be made fat: The diligent (Heb. charuts) is a hard-working, industrious person. A diligent person is characterized by care and perseverance in carrying out what needs to be done. This person is persistently industrious in carrying out his tasks. Be made fat would imply prosperity or abundance. Being prosperous (having basic necessities of life) are the result of hard work and poverty (not having bare necessities; getting nothing) is brought on by laziness. The bare necessities of life are food, clothing, shelter, and health.

The lazy person is not content with the basic necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter, and health) because it involves work. (1 Tim. 6:6-8) Rather, he has a strong yearning or desire for things that are far beyond the basics of life, long for more than is necessary, wanting these things strongly but is unwilling to make any kind of effort whatsoever so as to have them. To simply desire a better life or to desire eternal life is not enough. We must make a diligent effort to do the will of the Father (Matt. 7:21-23), to live according to the principles in the Word of God.

The point that this proverb is making this, merely desire something will get you nothing, it is utterly futile. Rather, being industrious is what counts. Lazy people are consumed with their excessive desires that they never make the effort needed to have them be realized. On the other hand, the soul (desire) of the diligent one is fat, that is, satisfied. This carries over into our commitment to God. As there are those who lack the love and the faith, so they hold back from carrying out the will and purposes of the Father because they are avoiding the responsibilities and so, in the end, Jesus will say, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matt. 7:23) They want to receive eternal life, but they are too lazy to be obedient to the Father.

[1] I.e., will be fully satisfied

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