At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; But of every one that is hasty only to want (Prov. 21:5).
This is a good place to remind ourselves that proverbs are proverbs—they are generally true, and they are wise words to live by. At the same time, they are not axioms in geometry. There has never been a triangle that didn’t have three sides, but there have been hasty men who did not wind up in the flop house.
At the same time, most of the time, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. You can bank on it, more or less.
The import of this proverb appears to relate to the subject of planning. The thoughts of the diligent tend one way, while the hasty one (who did not have the time or patience for planning) winds up in poverty. The diligent are thoughtful, and their thoughtfulness begins before the actual work begins. The hasty, who rush in because “something must be done,” often find that it was false that something had to be done. Making a hasty hash of it might well make things worse than they were. And if you don’t have time to do it right, then how will you have time to do it over?
This proverb also helps prevent us from attributing poverty to false causes. We are talking about the behavior of people, which is not the same kind of thing as putting a billiard ball in the corner pocket, or getting an item out of a vending machine. It is true that the book of Proverbs warns regularly against the poverty that does come from laziness. But we are not encouraged to believe that poverty comes only from laziness—it can come from a number of other sources. And as we see here in this proverb, it certainly can come from an industrious stupidity.