The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.…
The son of diligence, considered either as a man or a Christian, is in a fair way to obtain the good things he seeks. The slothful wretch shall be poor indeed.
I. WHAT ARE THE SEVERAL THINGS WHICH ARE IMPLIED IN TRUE DILIGENCE?
1. Diligence includes the employment of every part of our time in proper business. This is opposed to sauntering life away; to trifling, or doing what is to no purpose; and to mistiming the businesses which are to be done.
2. Diligence includes earliness — in opposition to delay. The early man shows that his heart is in his work. If we begin betimes the service of the day, we happily provide against hindrances, and we are not in danger of being thrown into a hurry by accidental avocations.
3. Diligence implies activity and vigour. Lazy wishes will neither perform work nor obtain a blessing. What poor work doth a Christian make who is cold, indifferent, slothful in the things which concern his soul and salvation!
4. Diligence implies watchfulness — in opposition to a drowsy, heedless temper, a thoughtless security of soul. We must be awake to seize all advantages for our work, as well as to guard against surprises and dangers.
5. Diligence implies a constancy in our work — in opposition to looking back, and perpetual avocation by diversions and pleasures.
6. Another thing implied in true diligence is, firmness and resolution in our labour — in opposition to all the difficulties which attend our work. If we are frighted at every shadow of difficulty, we shall never fulfil our service, nor perfect our design.
7. There is also implied perseverance — in opposition to fainting and weariness. It is the end that crowns all.
II. THE BLESSINGS WHICH ATTEND DILIGENCE IN A COURSE OF VIRTUE AND GOODNESS.
1. Diligence hath a natural tendency to success and to obtain the good things we seek.
2. Diligence hath the rich and special promises of a faithful God to encourage its hope.
3. Diligence and industry are a happy guard against snares and temptations of every kind. When the devil finds you idle, he hath a proper moment to assault you with some powerful temptation.
4. Diligence is always making a progress towards its designed end, but the slothful man is in great danger of going backward. The gardener who neglects his daily work will soon find the ground overrun with weeds.
5. The diligent Christian is a most useful person in the world. He does the most good himself, and becomes an excellent example to all that are round about him.
6. The diligent Christian finishes his work with peace, hope, and joy. He will review his conduct and his labours with an inward satisfaction and a sacred pleasure of soul. Let us dread the curse of the wicked and slothful servant.
( Isaac Watts, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.