Daily Proverbs - Proverb 6:10-11
The wealthiest man who ever lived wrote the proverbs. He must've known something! Although the Bible was written millenia ago, its contents actually are applicable and beneficial today. When eternal principals and laws (not talking about the ten commandments when I write "law" here. I am referencing governing systems that are alive, whether we know it or not! I believe Solomon understood these "laws".) are honored, your life will benefit, even if you don't adhere to the Judaeo-Christian beliefs contained in the rest of the Bible.
The word translated "folding" in Proverb 6:10 is from the Hebrew word chibbuq (pronounced khib-book), meaning a clasping of hands specifically in idleness, to fold.
In the Bible, the word "hand" is symbolic of human activity/purpose as well as power.
To fold hands is to clasp or close your activity and purpose, thereby, stopping your power.
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is from the Holman Christian Study Bible; all Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic references are from Strong's Concordance; all English definitions and word roots are according to Merriam-Webster.
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit. -- Proverb 6:10-11
The Lord promises to prosper all to which those who honor Him set their hand. He does not promise to bring increase to someone simply for believing in Him, or believing in anything. Our bodies were designed with purpose. Our minds, abilities and skillsets were engineered for an intended use and application. When we live with purpose and goals, we have motive for starting each day -- the snooze button isn't so appealing - we awake before the alarm!
Interestingly, some translations read "a little folding of the hands" rather than arms. In the Bible, the hand and sometimes the arm are symbolic of work or purpose. Folding arms/hands is symbolic of pausing purpose.
That is not to say there is not time for a rest from work. However, there is purpose in resting from work - to recharge, refocus, to inventory your life. The appointed time for rest - whether a power nap, a vacation, or nightly reading on the back porch - the time results with vigor and vision for the next step.
Your "work" may not be taking care of your family. It may be painting, submitting proposals for a company, sales calls, cleaning. For me, my first priority is caring for my family. When I abandoned that without a determined purpose for that time, slowly my sense of purpose eroded. Within weeks, I lacked purpose.
Depression has hit my home before, and "it weren't purty." I did not feel like getting up. I just wanted to be in bed, watching movies or re-runs, door closed, cut off from the world, my family. I did not want to talk on the phone, see anyone. Depression seemed to hit me "suddenly" -- but in truth -- it had crept upon me, like a thief creeping to a burglarize a home in the dark of night.
At first, I began just ignoring a load of laundry. Then, ignoring laundry for a day or two. Ignoring the bathrooms. Then, I'd get to them, just a little longer between times. The intermissions increased in length. This proverb doesn't say that "poverty comes to those who don't do anything" -- it says, "a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands," and poverty and want will come -- like a robber, like a bandit. Poverty is not limited to finances. One definition is: debility due to malnutrition; b : lack of fertility. If you're not nurturing or fertilizing your purpose, you will be debilitated.
Thankfully, poor decisions do not have to remain in force. I "cowgirled-up," as we say in our family, and made myself get out of bed -- and not return to it after sending the last kids to school. I made myself go to bed earlier, and left my laptop purposefully in the kitchen rather than bring it with me to watch Netflix. Again, there is not anything wrong with "winding down" with a television program, but I had gotten entrapped with watching episode after episode of television series. I wanted to be lulled to sleep, to not think. I had to resist laziness. I had to resist a little folding of the arms/hands (depends on the translation!).
Designer of Life and Author of Purpose,
I ask You to reveal the purpose of my life. Help me to embrace it joyfully and thankfully. Help me not to be weighed down in monotony, but to focus on the outcome of my purpose and take joy in the details. Forgive me for being unthankful and for any time of soaking in self pity. Thank You for life. Thank You for purpose. Thank You to renew me with vigor and vision for each new day. Help me walk this journey minute by minute, knowing there is purpose in and through my life.
In Jesus' name,
Thank you for reading! I hope this hub helps you journey successfully in life.
I welcome your comments and suggestions. Thanks again for stopping by!