Diligence and Prosperity
Proverbs 10:4
He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

A connection exists between the bounty of God and the duty of man. All things are of God, and our dependence upon Him is absolute and imperative. There is a perfect accordance between the established law of nature and the law of grace. The former of these combines a dependence upon God for daily subsistence with the necessity of effort to procure it. The latter tells us, and insists upon it, that while by grace we are saved through faith which is the gift of God, we are nevertheless to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling."

I. APPLY SENTIMENT OF TEXT TO THE ORDINARY AFFAIRS OF LIFE. With respect to temporal blessings. The purposes of God are never carried into effect without the use of those means by which they are intended to be accomplished. The application of these means is indispensable to the attainment of the end. If we neglect these, it will be worse than folly to hope for any blessing. What are the appointed means by which a beneficent providence supplies the temporal wants of man?

1. Diligence or industry. An unoccupied and idle man countervails all the laws both of his animal and intellectual frame and wages war upon every organ of his material structure. The law of industry is a benevolent law. If you would make a man miserable, let him have nothing to do. Idleness is the nursery of crime.

2. Economy. He who wastes what providence gives him may not complain of it being with-held or withdrawn. Nature and observation are constantly reading us this lesson. In all that God does there is nothing lost, nothing thrown away, nothing but what is designed for some useful purpose. Every natural substance that does not retain its original form passes into some other that is equally important in its way. There is no example of the entire destruction of anything in the universe. The Lord Jesus did not deem it mean to be frugal. Meanness is more justly chargeable to waste and prodigality. He that is regardless of little things will be very apt to be careless of those that are greater.

3. A sacred regard to the Lord's day. If a man would make the most of human life, to say nothing of the life to come, he must be a conscientious observer of this consecrated day. Other collateral means are, a sacred regard to truth, honesty in every transaction, rectitude and integrity of character.

II. APPLY SENTIMENT OF THE TEXT TO THE INTERESTS OF THE SOUL. Many events may transpire which will frustrate the most diligent in their enterprise. Sickness, infirmity, calamity, treachery. But it is never so in the case of the soul. There is an opulence in the Divine benignity which satisfies the desire of every praying spirit. Note there is a certainty in the promise. Labour for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life shall be rewarded in the issue to the extent of our largest expectations. And at the last his joy will be full. He has gained the true riches and is rich indeed.

(J. Everitt.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

WEB: He becomes poor who works with a lazy hand, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth.

Advantages of Virtuous Industry
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