The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
I. TAKE THE TEXT IN ITS TEMPORAL BEARINGS.
1. A slothful man is the opposite of a righteous man. A sluggard misses a main part of righteousness. He does not render to God according to the strength lent to him, nor to man according to the work assigned him. He is too idle to be importunate, too slothful to be earnest. He cannot be a righteous man, for slothfulness leads to the neglect of duty in many ways. Every good thing withers in the drought of idleness. All kinds of vices are comprehended in the one vice of sloth.
2. If we avoid sloth we have not done enough, we must also be righteous; we must do that which is right, and kind, and holy.
3. A slothful man's way is like a hedge of thorns. The idler's way is not a desirable way. It is difficult. It is painful. Continue in it, and your way will be blocked up altogether. On the other hand, a righteous man's way becomes plain. When a man walks in integrity, his way is soon made plain to him. In the long run, if a man keeps straight, and walks in strict integrity and faith, the Lord will make darkness light before him, and crooked things straight.
II. THE SPIRITUAL TEACHING OF THE TEXT. The spiritual sluggard's way is the way of unbelief, because the opposite of his way is the way of the righteous, which is the way of faith. The way of unbelief is full of thorns. It is a very hard way. It is full of perplexities. It is full of miseries. One of these days the slothful man will come to the end of his way, and he will see that hedge of thorns blocking him out of heaven — blocking him out from God. The way of the righteous is the way of faith, and his way "shall be made plain." Childlike confidence in God shall march on as upon a raised causeway, and always find for itself a road. God is with those who trust in Him; and what or whom shall we fear when God is with us? Sometimes the way of the righteous is mysterious and perplexing. When you do not know your way, ask your Guide. Stand still, and pray. An excellent translation runs thus, "The way of the righteous is a highway." It is the open road, where none may challenge the traveller. He that is in the King's highway is under the King's protection. He that is on the King's highway will come to a good end, for the King has completed that way so that it does not fall short, but leads to a city of habitations, whose builder and maker is God.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
WEB: The way of the sluggard is like a thorn patch, but the path of the upright is a highway.