Lazy hands make for poverty,
but diligent hands bring wealth.
In speaking to a relative about the bad luck of an individual who kept having trouble holding down jobs, the relative replied, “Sometimes you have to make your own luck.” That is the point of this proverb. We cannot control all of our circumstances, but more often than not our success or lack of success reflects personal discipline and attitude.
The hard worker usually will fare better than the lax worker. The worker aspiring to improve himself and his circumstance will normally do better than the one merely hoping that life will get better. One of my observations as a high school principal was that a person’s rank academically was more closely tied in with the work ethic of the student than with the student’s natural ability. In most years, the valedictorian was not the most academically gifted, but almost always the hardest and smartest worker.
Apply this principle spiritually. In truth, our growth spiritually is the result of the Holy Spirit working in us to sanctify us. But typically, that work can be seen in the attention we give to growing spiritually – our attentiveness to studying and being taught Scripture; our attention to prayer; our desire to be active in the church body and to serve in God’s kingdom; our consciousness of being a witness for Christ in the workplace, school, and home by the good work that we do and the love we demonstrate. How diligent are you in becoming rich spiritually?
17 The Lord said to Moses, 2 ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: “This is what the Lord has commanded: 3 any Israelite who sacrifices an ox, a lamb or a goat in the camp or outside it 4 instead of bringing it to the entrance to the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to the Lord in front of the tabernacle of the Lord – that person shall be considered guilty of bloodshed; they have shed blood and must be cut off from their people. 5 This is so that the Israelites will bring to the Lord the sacrifices they are now making in the open fields. They must bring them to the priest, that is, to the Lord, at the entrance to the tent of meeting and sacrifice them as fellowship offerings. 6 The priest is to splash the blood against the altar of the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting and burn the fat as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 7 They must no longer offer any of their sacrifices to the goat idols to whom they prostitute themselves. This is to be a lasting ordinance for them and for the generations to come.”
8 ‘Say to them: “Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice 9 and does not bring it to the entrance to the tent of meeting to sacrifice it to the Lord must be cut off from the people of Israel.
10 ‘“I will set my face against any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who eats blood, and I will cut them off from the people. 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites, ‘None of you may eat blood, nor may any foreigner residing among you eat blood.’
13 ‘“Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, 14 because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, ‘You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.’
15 ‘“Anyone, whether native-born or foreigner, who eats anything found dead or torn by wild animals must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be ceremonially unclean till evening; then they will be clean. 16 But if they do not wash their clothes and bathe themselves, they will be held responsible.”’
Unlawful sexual relations
18 The Lord said to Moses, 2 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: “I am the Lord your God. 3 You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. 4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God. 5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.
6 ‘“No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.
7 ‘“Do not dishonour your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.
8 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonour your father.
9 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.
10 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonour you.
11 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.
12 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.
13 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.
14 ‘“Do not dishonour your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.
15 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.
16 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonour your brother.
17 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.
18 ‘“Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.
19 ‘“Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.
20 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with your neighbour’s wife and defile yourself with her.
21 ‘“Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.
22 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
23 ‘“Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.
24 ‘“Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
29 ‘“Everyone who does any of these detestable things – such persons must be cut off from their people. 30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practised before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.”’