Monday, February 1, 2021

The Lion Outside

The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” – Proverbs 22:13

This verse has intrigued me for years!  I’ve never understood why a lazy man would not go out and kill the lion that was going to kill him.  But today I find the message intended from Solomon is total different than how I interpreted it.

Adam Clarke writes of this verse: But why does he say so? Because he is a slothful man. Remove his slothfulness, and these imaginary difficulties and dangers will be no more. He will not go abroad to work in the fields, because he thinks there is a lion in the way, he will not go out into the town for employment, as he fears to be assassinated in the streets! From both these circumstances he seeks total cessation from activity.

He does not know there’s a lion outside because he remains inside as he wishes. The verse is about creating self-serving fears and excuses to remain unemployed and lazy. The NLT version states that he “claims” there is a lion.

Proverbs 10:4 states that the one who has “slack hands” becomes poor, and Ecclesiastes 10:18 that because of idle hands the house leaks and the building decays.  God gave man work because man – and woman – was designed to create, build, grow, accomplish great things.  He did not give us a brain to binge watch Netflix instead of working! 

In Genesis 3:19 God tells Adam and Eve “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made.  For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”.  2 Thessalonians 3:10 says that those who do not work should not eat.  We’re given work as part of the curse created by sin in Genesis, as well as to keep us too busy to sin and get in trouble.

And it’s not about holding down a job, it’s about pleasing God.  Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not men”.  Work is pleasing to God.

There is no lion outside.  Those that hide from work have the lion inside with them already, and he’s destroying their life.

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