Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread. (Proverbs 20:13, NKJV)
Sleep is necessary for our minds and bodies to rest, repair and revitalize. As our Creator, it is obvious God knows this and made us this way. Today’s proverb does not warn against sleep, but against loving sleep. While sleep is beneficial, there are things we cannot do when we are asleep. We cannot work and earn a living, we cannot communicate with others, and we cannot be alert to potential dangers. We should view sleep as utilitarian, not utopian. It serves good and helpful purposes, but it is not an end in itself. Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). He used the time He had to diligently do the Father’s will. Whether it is our daily jobs that provide food and sustenance for ourselves and our families, or our spiritual endeavors to walk in the good works God has prepared for us, we must open our eyes, get up out of bed, and get to work (1 Tim. 5:8; Eph. 2:10). When we do our part, God promises to do His (Matt. 6:25-34). Otherwise, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep— So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man” (Prov. 6:10-11).
33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:33–34, NKJV)
Sin deceives, corrupts and destroys. The temptation to fulfill the lusts of the flesh immediately and repeatedly lures the naive to their own destruction, and captures those who are very familiar with the depths of Satan (Rev. 2:24). It is foolish to convince ourselves that evil companions have no impact on us. If light and salt influence the world for righteousness, then darkness and bitterness have their corrupting influence, too (Matt. 5:13-16). Being a Christian means having drastically different values and practices from those who do not follow Jesus. We do not live by the motto, “eat and drink, for tomorrow we die,” even though many around us do (1 Cor. 15:32). We must not define and measure righteousness by those who do not know God. The Lord does that for us in His word. Jesus commands us not to sin precisely because we know the truth (Jno. 8:31-32). We need to wake up and not sin. If we slumber and let the world influence us to sin, then we will die with the world (1 Thess. 5:5-10).
“Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.” (Proverbs 20:13, NKJV)
Wisdom teaches us we cannot recapture wasted time. Sleep is used to describe idleness and inaction. Lack of attention to our daily tasks brings want (Proverbs 6:6-11). Loving idleness squanders the precious commodity of time. Instead of laziness, we are urged to open our eyes, see the work set before us, and then get busy addressing it. The result will be food to eat, and the satisfaction of a job well done. Jesus reminds disciples to avoid idleness when He urged personal evangelism in John 4:35: “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” He used it again when He spoke of the urgency of doing the work of God in John 9:4: “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” You do not know how much time you have on the earth. So, use your time wisely, and enjoy temporal and eternal blessings (Ephesians 5:16).