THERE IS A LION IN THE STREET
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
When asked to help a needy family cut firewood, a man said to his solicitor, “I can’t do that. The Russians are coming and they are red, and fire engines are red, and they are coming so there must be a fire somewhere.” His wife later asked why he had given such nonsense as an excuse. The answer was simple: one excuse is as good an another when you don’t want to do something. This is reminiscent of Solomon’s sayings in Proverbs. He writes of fools and sluggards in Chapters 22 and 26. Of special note is this verse: “The slothful man saith, there is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.” 26:13. This is an excuse to not get out of the house and do something. He went on to say, “The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.” 26:15.
These things are familiar excuses to modern day pastors. Personally, I have not heard anyone say that they could not come to church because there was a lion in the streets, but the probable reason for that is that they had not read the writings of Solomon. Certainly, there are many modern day excuses just as frivolous.
How easy it is nowadays to turn a deaf ear to the pleas of pastors and others to actively invest the days of life into the services of the Lord. Such are passed off as being of little value, and mostly without any compunction at all. But one may be certain, and herewith reminded that it will not always be this way. Jesus spoke of the kingdom in terms of a wedding feast in Matthew 22:11-13. “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Make of this saying what you will. But, know that the day is coming when Christian qualifications that are freely offered here and now will be extremely important, so important that those who have disregarded them flippantly will lament in speechlessness. So, let’s get it right. There is no lion in the street! God’s work is important! Do it while you may! “There is no work nor device . . . in the grave whether thou goest.” Ecc. 9:10.