Proverbs 10 is a chapter of contrasts. One line states a truth, then the second line states its antithesis. The contrasts in this chapter are between: (1) the wise and the foolish; (2) the righteous and the wicked; (3) the rich and the poor; (4) the diligent and the lazy; (5) godly speech and ungodly speech. The first five verses read:
"A wise child makes a glad father,
but a foolish child is a mother's grief."
"Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death."
"The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
"A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich."
"A child who gathers in summer is prudent,
but a child who sleeps in harvest brings shame."
What practical thoughts do these maxims bring to mind?
1. When godly parents invest years of money, time, and energy in their children, those children should feel morally obligated to live the kind of lives that bring satisfaction to their parents' hearts. Certainly this does not mean that children should agree with their parents on everything. But it does mean that their lifestyle will be God-centered.
2. Laziness is an irresponsible sin. God created human beings with the gift of being able to work. He expects his creatures to use that gift. Thievery, dishonesty, apathy, lethargy, and the like are no excuse for failing to work. It is significant that three of the first five verses of Proverbs 10 speak to this problem.
3. God provides adequately for his faithful servants. Similar to Proverbs 10:3, Psalm 37:25 says:
"I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread."