Bridges on Proverbs 20:4
 
Charles Bridges on Proverbs 20:4
 
 1 
 2 
 3 
 4 
 5 
 6 
 7 
 8 
 9 
 10 
 11 
 12 
 13 
 14 
 15 
 16 
 17 
 18 
 19 
 20 
 21 
 22 
 23 
 24 
 25 
 26 
 27 
 28 
 29 
 30 
 

4.  The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. {cold: or, winter}
 
Again (Chapter 19:15, 24) are we instructed by a vivid picture of a most baneful vice. The sluggard always has his excuses ready to shift off any work, that requires exertion. He will not plow by reason of the cold; although the season (our autumn) offered no hindrance, where the heart was in the work. And does not the most trifling difficulty hinder, where the heart is cold in the service of God? Let the professor ask himself — Have his prayers during his whole life cost him exercise answering to one hour’s plowing? What has he given to God but the shadow of duties, when the world has had his full glow and energy? The flesh flinches from suffering; and even, under the wakefulness of temporary conviction, the heart is “sorrowful” at the requisitions of Christianity, which it cannot admit.† Farewell heaven for ever, if it must be obtained at such a cost. How affecting is the contrast between our work for Christ, and his work for us — We grudging exercise for him; He so filled with the absorbing interest of his work — “How am I straightened till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12:50.)
But the sluggard must reap the fruit of his sin. If he will not plow in the seed-time, he cannot reap in harvest. At that happy season — the recompense of the laborer’s toil — he shall beg, and have nothing. ‘Men’s hearts are justly hardened against that man, who by his own sloth and sinfulness hath brought himself to want.’† And what else can the spiritual sluggard look for? The cold keeps him heartlessly from the house of God. His soul is therefore perishing for lack of good. If wishing would secure heaven, who would miss it? But heartless wishes, without the crucifixion of the flesh, will stop short of the promise. Millions have perished in serious religion, from want of diligence and self-sacrificing devotedness. And what will it be to beg in the great harvest, and beg in vain;† then to have all wicked excuses silenced, and the fearful doom pronounced upon the unprofitable servant!†
Christian professor! is it time to stand idle, when we stand at the door of eternity? — to be slack, when so near our great salvation? (Romans 13:11.) ‘Blessed are those, who have sown much for God in their lifetime. Oh! the glorious harvest that those shall have! The very angels shall help them to take in their harvest at the great day. And oh! the joy that there shall be in that harvest! The angels will help to sing the harvest-song, that they shall sing, who have been sowers of righteousness!†