24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
Note, 1. Industry is the way to preferment. Solomon advanced Jeroboam because he saw that he was an industrious young man, and minded his business, 1Ki 11:28. Men that take pains in study and serviceableness will thereby gain such an interest and reputation as will give them a dominion over all about them, by which means many have risen strangely. He that has been faithful in a few things shall be made ruler over many things. The elders, that labour in the word and doctrine, are worthy of double honour; and those that are diligent when they are young will get that which will enable them to rule, and so to rest, when they are old. 2. Knavery is the way to slavery: The slothful and careless, or rather the deceitful (for so the word signifies), shall be under tribute. Those that, because they will not take pains in an honest calling, live by their shifts and arts of dishonesty, are paltry and beggarly, and will be kept under. Those that are diligent and honest when they are apprentices will come to be masters; but those that are otherwise are the fools who, all their days, must be servants to the wise in heart.