The Agora
Bible Articles and Lessons: P-Q

Previous Index Next

Prov and work

A List of Relevant Scriptures

Pro 10:5; 12:11,14,24; 13:11; 14:23; 16:6; 18:9; 21:25; 22:29; 24:27; 28:19; 31:13,17,31.

A Presupposition

The consistent presupposition of the Proverbs on this subject is that the person being addressed by these pithy sayings is indeed able to work. This would include most of us by far, but there are certain people who are unable to work (for whatever reason), and should not feel guilty for not being able to perform the duty described in the proverb. For them God has another word of wisdom (cf Pro 3:5,6).


  1. Working is essential to living and obtaining the essentials for life.
  2. Food is essential to life (Pro 12:11a; Pro 16:26; 28:19a).
  3. Food in these verses can really be amplified to include any basic necessity of life (clothing, money, etc).

Lesson 1: Accept work as God's divine design for you (cf Gen 2:15; 2Th 3:10)! Therefore, it can be said that: (1) People who refuse to work reveal a lack of common sense in their judgment. (2) Sometimes people refuse to do the job that they have because they're always looking for a better one (Pro 12:11b). (3) Refusing to work can lead to death (Pro 21:25).

Lesson 2: Be careful for the "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome. But, just determining to see the logic in working and then setting out to work is not enough. It is obviously the place to start, but one must also prioritize his work. Do the primary things first; the things upon which all else depends. After determining which things are primary and which are secondary, determine also the proper order of the primary and secondary things (Pro 10:5).

Lesson 3: Do first things first, according to a plan. Then, once a person has determined to prioritize his work by planning carefully, he should work hard because... Working hard is better than working in a lazy manner.

Lesson 4: If you're going to work, you might as well work hard... there are many benefits. In the end, after a person has worked wisely and hard, he will often times find that his...

Lesson 5: Enjoy your work -- it's God's plan! As time passes, a person who has worked wisely and diligently will find himself rewarded by his labor as well as skilled at what he does with the result that... People who are skilled at their work are sought out by people (Pro 22:29).

Lesson 6: If you are good at what you do, do not be surprised when others want to see you in action. The ideal wife works so well that she should be honored for her work.

Lesson 7: Extol your wife and women in general for their fine work.


Work is God's idea and therefore excellent for man. Any attempt to circumvent this process only reveals an inability to perceive the obvious. However, for those committed to working, they need to know that there are ways to go about it that lead to enjoyment and reward. And those who are very skilled at their work often get opportunities to demonstrate that skill before the public. Finally, when it comes to work, no price can be paid for the ideal wife who commits herself so wisely and thoroughly to her tasks that she merits public recognition for her abilities.

Previous Index Next