There’s a Lion in the Road! There’s a Lion in the Streets!

There's a Lion in the Road! There's a Lion in the Streets! The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who can answer sensibly.

– Proverbs 26:13-16 (ESV)

What implications should Proverbs 26 have for our apprehension, of the trouble in our day, where disengagement with the most basic responsibilities is concerned, particularly in the American Church?

The sluggard, it says, cites the lion in the road and street as a reason to not go out. But what does Proverbs 28:1 assert?

 “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

It would seem that sluggards and wicked men are aligned, then. Both alike avoid the danger first – to themselves, their families, friends, and neighbors – instead of manful engagement, and a girding up of loins, after the costs and benefits have been counted against one another. Both alike will avoid even the potential for danger to their person, whereas the righteous will match the lion in the streets and road for boldness.

Or what else was David saying when he faced Goliath?

“Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a sheep from the flock, I went out after it and attacked it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth; and when it rose up against me, I grabbed it by its mane and struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.”

Thus we find the point of contrast, not in having to fight lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Common themes must be found deeper than fur and fangs and claws. At the root of the bravery which David possessed, the faith which possessed him, that God would not be mocked, for a man reaps what he sows, whether for good or ill, there will we find what lessons and examples we should learn from.

David, then, was no sluggard. That much is plain. When the lion and bear took the sheep from the flock, and even had her fairly dead to rights otherwise, the man after God’s own heart pursued the predator, because he had a job to do, and responsibilities to fulfill. Then, as an extension, because he who is faithful with a little will be entrusted with more, David engaged the giant from Gath as well, because he had defied the armies of the living God. Yet he had not changed, though the particular enemy had. And that is really the point.

In both circumstances, the common theme, whether when the wild animal attacked his father’s sheep, or when the uncircumcised Philistine taunted Israel’s soldiers, the root of Jesse was preoccupied with what, before God, was his duty to do, even at risk of mortal harm to himself, because he trusted that God would either protect or reward his fidelity.

So many of us cannot stand up to anything, but melt away at opposition, or disagreement, or confrontation, and even potential conflict, regardless of our duty, despite our responsibilities, with little to no care in the world about the God who sees us, whether we are acting in secret or publicly.

Would that more of us were true, whether anyone but God saw us valorous, regardless if everyone heard us, not caring so much for our glory, or even survival, but holding most dear God’s glory, and will, in every circumstance, defiant of every danger, so long as the Almighty had seen fit that this lot had been ours, and is, and must be embraced manfully.

May the Lord God Almighty, who made heaven and earth, so embolden us, that we say what is true, and do what is right, no matter the consequences, or else all the more to spite them, in service and true faith to Him.

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