This is our worship service for Sunday, 2-13-2022.
Countdown to Worship
“Lion and the Lamb,” Leland.
First Worship Offering
“Your Love Defends Me,” Matt Maher.
Second Worship Offering
“There Was Jesus,” Dolly Parton and Zach Williams.
“City On Our Knees,” TobyMac with Rev. Billy Graham.
Hustle and Grind: The Theology of Work
“A Sermon On Six Legs”
Pastor Skip Heitzig
Most people think of ants as a nuisance to be eliminated, but Solomon saw them as teachers to be emulated. Writing to his son (see Proverbs 6:1), Solomon warns him that though rest is good, too much of it can be bad. As we conclude our Hustle and Grind series, we focus on the comparison between the industrious ant and the inactive sluggard and why work and rest must be kept in careful balance.
Today we look at the danger of over rest. See, we’re sort of following the gamut. We’re looking at what is good, but something taken to an extreme. And then, now, rest, something that is good but taken to an extreme.
The danger of over rest, we would call this laziness.
Proverbs 6:6-11 New International Version
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
The Ants’ Pattern
Verse 6, "Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise. Which having no captain, overseer, or ruler."
Now, you’ve got to know this about ants. They’re very organized. Highly organized.
They organize themselves into colonies called formic arries. And they’re sort of like modern cities. If you study them, and those who do study them have found out that they organize their food and their shelter. In these colonies, there are streets, and supply rooms, and hatcheries, and barracks.
There are colonies connected to other colonies and they are organized and they communicate. And in the ant world, it’s all volunteer. Everything is a volunteer army. There’s no guide, there’s no leader, there’s no president, there’s no governor, there’s no prime minister, but they all work.
They’re persistent and they work continually. And they do it all without pay, they do it without any promotion, they do it without any word of thanks. No pat on the back. Not that they have a back that you could pat. But they don’t quit. They don’t get mad. They don’t go to the HR department and file a complaint. They don’t go on strike. They work.
Which is exactly how we are to work and serve the Lord as believers. Did you know that? Ephesians chapter 6, verse 6 and 7, "Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."
The second thing that Solomon makes a note of, not only do they produce, but they provide.
Ants work hard to provide for themselves and for others in the colony.
Which, again, is what the Bible says we are to do. We are to work so that we might bless others.
Ephesians 4:28 New International Version
28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Did you know that ants prepare for the winter? They actually store up food and make preparations for even long winters. Other insects don’t necessarily do this.
The Bible talks about us being prepared. Proverbs says so much about foreseeing evil and staying away from it, thinking about things in advance and getting prepared for life, even saving up, but always, always in the will of the Lord. Proverbs 16 says, "Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts or your plans will be established."
So they produce, they provide, and they prepare. Now, I just want to ask you this. Christian, are you prepared and are you preparing for your future by serving the Lord now?
How do you prepare for the future? By serving the Lord now.
Jesus said, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth cannot destroy, where thieves cannot break in and steal." And He said that we are to work now while it is still day, for the night is coming when no one can work. So if you’re going to do anything at all for Christ, do it now.
Now is the time to do it. If you’re going to share with people, if you’re going to pray with people, if you’re going to preach to people, if you’re going to witness to people, if you’re going to visit someone, if you’re going to reconcile broken relationships, don’t wait. Do it today. Do it now. Prepare for the future by serving the Lord now.
And then I want to ask those of you who are not in Christ, lost people, people who have not received Christ, why aren’t you preparing for your future? The best thing for you to do is to be in Christ, to give your life to Christ, to invite Him to be your Savior. You might scoff at that, you might neglect that, but I want you to judgment will do neither.
It’s coming. He’s coming. And all people will give a reckoning. So make preparations no matter who you are. So that’s the ant’s pattern.
In verse 9, Solomon pivots and he addresses directly the sluggard.
The Sluggards’ Plight
The idea here is this. A lazy person– not a person who just takes– a nap a lazy person is by and large a person who will not focus on things, and therefore he will not finish things. You see, when you ask the sluggard the question that Solomon asked, how long are you going to sleep?
Now in chapter 26 of Proverbs, verse 14, listen to this very incredible description. "As a door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man on his bed." Very descriptive. It’s like, the only motion he makes is to turn over on the other side. There’s a lot of motion, but no progress.
Proverbs 22 verse 13, "The slothful man says, there’s a lion outside. I shall be slain in the streets." So it’s a picture of somebody who refuses to get out of their home, they’re homebound, they’re locked down, they’re scared of the boogeyman, they won’t go outside. There might be a lion outside. A monster is going to get me.
And so they have an excuse. That’s the sluggard’s plight. They’re unmotivated.
Verse 11, "So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler and your need like an armed man." You maintain that state of inactivity for too long, one day it’ll be too late. It’ll all come crashing down.
The idea here is an unfulfilled and frustrated life. Not just physical poverty, but it will leave that person emotionally restless, unsatisfied, and discouraged. Listen to some of the other verses in Proverbs that help fill out the meaning.
Proverbs 21, verse 25, "The desire of the lazy man kills him for his hands refuse to labor. They may want, but they don’t get, because they won’t work." So all they have is want, all they have is desire.
And it’s like this vicious cycle. I want this, I need this, but they never get it. So it’s just completely unfulfilling.
Proverbs 13 verse 4, "The soul of a lazy man desires and has nothing." it. Is a very unfulfilling life to be driven by the love of ease. It’s one of the most unfulfilled ways to live, to be driven by the love of ease.
And what’s the solution?
The solution is go to the ant.