This passage reminds me of Benjamin Franklin, who wrote, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” When asked, many people think this is a verse “somewhere” in the Bible.
I read a lengthy biography of Franklin last year. He was a brilliant innovator. He invented the Franklin stove, he harnessed electricity, first proposed daylight savings time to cut down on candle and oil consumption (energy).
Later in life, once he had made his fortune in the printing business, he was anything but an early riser. In France he was a late night gamer and philanderer, staying up until dawn playing chess and enjoying the ladies’ company. He would sleep until noon.
Apparently his list of carefully crafted list of virtues were an early-life ethic designed to make money. He virtually abandoned his wife in the States. She subsequently fell into a deep depression. It could be that his youthful austerity was a form of repression that imploded later in life. Who knows?
The wisdom literature of the Bible promotes a healthy work ethic:
6 Go to the ant, you lazybones;
consider its ways, and be wise.
7 Without having any chief
or officer or ruler,
8 it prepares its food in summer,
and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, O lazybones?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want, like an armed warrior.
But this second verse from Psalm 127 seems to counterbalance that a little bit. Work hard, but beware o eaton the bread of anxious toil. It will kill your spirit – your spirituality. In short, get a life. You are more than your work, and your life has greater value than to God than what you do or don’t accomplish.