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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

July 16, 2021

Daily Reading: Proverbs 10-12


Proverbs 10:26

As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.


The sluggard. When this word comes past the mind it takes one back to those summer days of youth wherein a slug was found on the cool concrete during a hot evening. Never will it be known who began the practice, but pour salt on the slug and watch it shrink away. The slug is short for a sluggard. Slow, lazy, lump of useless purposes. In the book of Proverbs, the word sluggard is used six times. None of them are good.


Today’s verse relates an extreme word picture to which one and all can relate. Vinegar to the teeth, frankly this writer has no ability to describe the awfulness of it. Not really pain, the effects are not just topical in that they seem to run throughout the entire mouth and face regions, it’s just nasty. Smoke in the eyes, stinging, burning, tears, and pain. Neither of these are to be desired. One is bad, both at the same time, the entire face area would be in a sorry state no doubt.


Send a sluggard on a task, to deliver a message, to do a job, anything. Just get ready, it’s going to hurt. Best advice on this verse could be engraved on two sides of the sluggard coin. One side could say, Do not become a sluggard! The other, Do not send the sluggard! This would be a good coin to carry in the pocket of those who have the tendency toward sluggardness, and to those who send others anywhere and for anything.


Beware of the sluggard. They sleep when they shouldn’t (6:9), they do not plow when they should (20:4), they will have nothing that they desire (13:4), yet in their own eyes they are wiser than seven wise men (26:16).


Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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