The Hebrew Wisdom is in fact the book of proverbs. The purpose of this book is to guide the readers/followers about living a practical and balanced life. The topics of laziness and diligence are also discussed in the same book to keep people known regarding the pros and cons of the two opposite traits. Both words can be found in many passages of the book in synonymous forms. Laziness is also described as lethargic, sluggard, and redundant whereas diligence is also referred as methodical, thoughtful, and perseverance.
It is extremely important to mention here that knowledge is the major difference between being diligent and astute and lazy and stupid. The Proverbs 1:7 mentions this difference in the following manner: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (as qtd. in Kerr 97). Wisdom is achieved when this difference is understood and practically employed. The Hebrew wisdom teaches its believers to acknowledge the fact that God is the One who has all wisdom and if one wants to become wise, he/she must turn to God and submit his/her will to His will. Accepting God as All-Powerful and believing in His decisions is the key to live a contented life. On the other hand, one who doesn’t acknowledge and understand God’s will surely become hopeless and lead a discontented life. To cut a long story short, a person can become wise only if he/she makes him/her devotedly diligent towards God’s Word.
Diligence has a number of advantages and the Hebrew wisdom repeatedly emphasize on them. A person who practices diligence tends to become wealthy, wise, powerful, satisfied and productive. In the same way, a person who is lazy is negatively affected as he gradually becomes poor, disgraceful, fearful, ruined, and absurd. Idiocy and foolishness have similar disadvantages and such people never find a way to satisfaction and contentment. The proverbs book addresses the pros of diligence and cons of laziness in many verses. In 21:5, Proverbs book describes the consequences of diligence and laziness as: “Profit comes not only as a result of hard work but also from wise planning. Meanwhile, haste leads to poverty” (as qtd. in Hinson & Yates 266). 10:4 suggests that “Lazy behavior results in poverty while diligence results in wealth” (as qtd. in Hindson & Yates 266). If truth be told, wealth and poverty are a direct result of diligence and laziness respectively. If truth be told, a lot of people are poor because of kismet but many are poor due to their own lazy conduct. In the similar fashion, some people are affluent because of their corrupt and greedy practices while some are particularly blessed by God and have riches due to their diligent and determined conduct (Sandoval). k
Thus, the followers can reap the fruits of goodness and riches if they practice what Hebrew wisdom suggests about diligence. Solomon, the author of the book of proverbs, has repeatedly mentioned the contrasting results of laziness and diligence. This is the reason why Christians are expected to shape their lives and mold their personalities in such ways that reflect the teachings in Hebrew wisdom. Nevertheless, it is certainly the duty of the followers to practice what is taught and preached. The worldly goods can be attained in abundance if the teachings of Hebrew wisdom are properly understood and practiced by followers in their personal, spiritual and professional lives.
When wisdom is kept reserved and not applied in the daily life or shared with others, it is of no use. The application and sharing of knowledge is the true meaning of wisdom. Scriptures are easily memorized and it is also not difficult to convey what one knows. However, wisdom is wasted when the known truth is not applied. When compared with wisdom, folly appears as an exact opposite trait. In simple words, folly is the non-application of knowledge. The example of increasing rates of divorce in the society is a great example. People know that infidelity causes broken relationships, insecure children, emotional and financial disturbances etc. However, people involve in adulterous sins although they know that the Word of God and the laws are against adultery. In short, wisdom is only advantageous when it is properly employed in the daily commotions. Otherwise, it is a plain folly to know but unable to employ the knowledge.
As far as my opinion is concerned, I don’t mean to imply that the mentioned needs are unnecessary. However, wisdom acquirement is as much needed as other things are required. This is imperative to realize and understand that only wise can attain both worldly goods and rewards in the life hereafter. It is extremely important to constantly seek wisdom in order to do the best and have the best. It is rather selfish that people want wisdom in situations when they are lost spiritually.
The society also needs to understand that a poor man can also be wise. It is the need of the time to comprehend this reality that a wealthy individual is not necessarily wise. Wisdom is knowledge and its proper application. In today’s modern world, people usually judge and respect a person according to his/her economic status in the society (Pleins). However, it is also true that corruption cannot erode wisdom. The major thing that is to be remembered by everyone is that Hebrew wisdom does not mean advance intelligence or dexterity. Wisdom is attained when one starts fearing God and submits his/her will to God’s will. On the other hand, folly is just the reverse.
The Proverbs book is an excellent composition by Solomon as he has excellently demonstrated the variation between and consequences of the life of wisdom and life of folly. To cut a long story short, it is entirely dependent upon the followers of Hebrew Scriptures whether they want to have a wise, diligent life or a lazy, reckless life. It is expected of the believers to broadenk their approaches and perspectives and try to find wisdom in life other than materialistic gain. This is because fools never know what is important in life as they have an extremely narrow mindset.
Bromiley, Geoffrey William. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. fully rev. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.b. Eerdmans, 1979. Print.
Hindson, Edward E., and Gary Yates. The Essence of the Old Testament A Survey. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2012. Print.
Kerr, R. J.. The Unknown God. USA: Xlibris Corporation, 2008. Print.
Pleins, J. David. The Social Visions of the Hebrew Bible: a Theological Introduction. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 2000. Print.
Sandoval, Timothy J.. Money and the Way of Wisdom: Insights from the Book of Proverbs. Woodstock, Vt.: SkyLight Paths Pub., 2008. Print.