Proverbs 26:13, The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
Did you meet any lions on your way to Sunday School this morning?
Some folks perhaps stayed home from Sunday School because they feared the lions in the streets.
According to the slothful the streets are full of lions.
According to the slothful the roaring of the lions abound!
Lions are a handy excuse for not venturing into the streets.
The sluggard thanks the Lord for lions because it gives him a convenient reason for staying inside and staying in comfort
Who wants to risk life and limb by venturing out in the midst of lions?
Who wants to engage in risky business? Who wants to take a chance?
Isn't this life of mine too valuable to risk being around lions?
How decent of the Lord to provide lions so I can stay in bed a little longer, the slothful says.
How wonderful that there are lions in the street to keep me from having to do anything for the Lord.
Pastor: Jim, we need a Sunday School teacher for the Junior Boys class.
I believe you could do a lot for the youngsters in that class.
Jim, how about taking that on as a ministry?
Jim answering the Pastor:
Well, Pastor I appreciate you're asking but I don't think I can handle kids that age.
(which may be interpreted, There are lions in that class. there are lions in the way and they certainly won't let me get around them)
Jim is slothful about the things of the Lord.
Jim may be energetic and efficient about things for himself but for things of the Lord he sees lions instead of the weapons that God gives him to fight the lions.
Jim sees the lions through eyes of flesh instead of seeing the lions through eyes of faith.
Jim's outlook makes a difference as to what the lions look like.
The lion's teeth are sharp or dull depending upon his attitude.
God does not deny that the lions are in the way.
God does not deny that there are lions in the streets.
God does not deny that there are lions in the Junior Boys Sunday School class!
God never promises that his children will have lion free lives!
I've never read that in the Bible, have you?
His word does not say that his children will never hear the roar of the lions.
Ask Daniel who had reservations in a lion's den for an overnight stay!
God simply expects his children to use the Sword of the Lord to engage the lions in a struggle.
He expects us to go outside where the lions are and whip the lions using the weapons of the word of God to do so.
But the slothful invent every excuse for not serving the Lord.
I'm not prepared. I can't express myself. I'm shy.
I'm too old. I'm too young. I'm too busy.
I'm not educated. I'm too educated.
I'm too ladylike. I'm a macho man!
I must go home and bury the dead.
Lions make me sneeze.
I like southern cooking and I don't want to have to eat raw fish, ants and beetles in some foreign country.
I don't like foreigners!
What will my family think if I'm too dedicated?
People will ridicule me and make fun of me.
Lions. Focusing on the lions instead of the weapons to kill the lions.
Focusing on self instead of focusing on God and God's word.
That is the mark of the slothful in serving God.
He is ingenious in making up reasons for not serving God.
And even the conscience of the slothful agrees with him.
He has been diligent in teaching it to believe the danger of serving God but he hasn't taught it much of the weapons God gives to those who serve.
David's brothers were well versed in the dangers of serving God when they, Saul, and the armies of Israel faced the lion of Goliath.
But it was their attitude about Goliath and themselves that caused their failure.
It was their attitude that told them that there was a lion in the streets.
They only saw Goliath and the armies of Israel.
They looked at the problem from the wrong attitude.
Goliath also had the wrong attitude when he did not see the lion in the street but he only saw the armies of Israel.
It took God's man to see things in the proper perspective.
It took God's man to see the lion in the street but it also took God's man to say: "who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the......armies of the living God?"
David did not see the weapons at his disposal to be limited only to the armies of Israel but he saw the armies of the living God as the lion killer!
David had a different attitude about lion killing!
He saw his weapons clearly.
As evidenced by Eliab's anger being kindled against David, his brothers only saw the lion of Goliath and their own puny strength.
Elisha also had the right attitude about lions.
He saw plenty of lions in the streets as he went about the business of serving God.
But he knew his place as a servant of the Most High God.
He knew that God was able to subdue lions and that those who served God can in the power of God also subdue lions.
The streets of Israel were full of lions when the king of Syria warred against Israel and his host compassed the city both with horses and chariots.
And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
But Elisha saw lions for what they were when he said, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
Elisha knew the hosts of the living God were available to fight the lions.
He knew that that they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
But all the servant of Elisha saw was the lions of the king of Syria so:
Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. (Elisha already saw through eyes of faith) And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Yes, The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
Certainly there are lions in the streets but the lesson of scripture is that God provides for lions to be slain by those who are willing to trust in the armies of the living God.
Is not the promise of Psalm 91:13 still in effect? Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
God does not take away the lion or the adder, he expects his people to trample them under their feet!