May 29, 2011

The Theme of Work in Proverbs

One expects to find the theme of work in the book of Proverbs because work is so much a part of the human condition. From the beginning (Gen 2:15) man was given the responsibility to work. The Book of Proverbs seems to take it for granted that “work” is good and God-ordained. Therefore, Proverbs does not so much provide an apologetic for the goodness of work, but rather it provides an important reminder of the benefits of hard work and the dangers of laziness. Even so, such an approach must not be interpreted to mean that hard work is an end in itself. But rather, work is a means, which God has ordained to provide for the needs of his creatures. In general, God honors and blesses hard work and condemns sloth. [1]

[1] It seems reasonable to assume that the proverbs on work and sloth only apply to those who can work. There are exceptional cases where someone cannot work due to illness, disability, etc.

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