From the Pastor: Curious Comparisons III
"Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy one to
those who send him." Proverbs 10:26|
Expressions come and go in language: familiar sayings from our young
days have now gone out of fashion, while the "in lingo" of today's youth
sounds strange in the ears of the older generation. One of today's "in"
responses to provocation is to call it a "pain": taxes are a pain,
salesmen are a pain, young Johnny is a pain to his parents, etc.
In the text above two separate things have one thing in common: they are
a pain! The first is vinegar: not exactly the vinegar familiar to us,
which is from fermented grape stalks and strong in acetic acid. The word
denotes instead sour wine, he result of uncontrolled fermentation of
normal grapes which quickly become sour or sharp-tasting, since it is
also high in acid content, just like our vinegar. Such is a pain to the
teeth, also the gums, and promotes tooth decay (many in ancient times
were dental cripples).
Likewise, smoke is a pain or irritant to the eyes. Now comes the punch
line: so too is a lazy employee to his employer. How practical is
Biblical wisdom! When someone wants to loaf on the job does he think of
the effect that will have on his employer? More particularly, if work is
properly for Christ and not men (Ephesians 6:6), how does the conduct of our
work daily work appear to our Lord? Is it like vinegar, or like honey,
in His mouth?
Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labour to pursue.
Thee, only Thee resolved to know,
In all I think, or speak, or do.