Hindrances to the Attainment of a Good Name
Proverbs 22:13-16
The slothful man said, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

I. SLOTH. (Ver. 13.) It is full of ridiculous excuses here satirized. While a noble energy refuses to own the word "impossible," it is ever on the lips of the indolent. As in the Arabic fable of the ostrich, or "camel bird," they said to it, "Carry!" It answered, "I cannot, for I am a bird." They said, "Fly!" It answered, "I cannot, for I am a camel." Always, "I cannot!" He who in false regard to his own soul refuses to go out into the world and do God's work, will end by corrupting and losing his soul itself (John 12:25).

II. PROFLIGACY. (Ver. 14.) Lust digs its own grave. Health goes, reputation follows, and presently the life, self-consumed by the deadly fire, sinks into ruin and ashes. If men saw how plainly the curse of God is written on vice, it would surely become as odious to them as to him.

III. UNGOVERNED FOLLY. (Ver. 15.) Nothing mere pitiable than an old fool, whose folly seems to stand in clear relief against the background of years. Hence, again, the urgent need of firm discipline for the young. And what occasion for thankfulness to him who, in his wise chastisements, will not "let us alone," but prunes and tills the soul by affliction, and plucks up our follies by the root!

IV. OPPRESSIVENESS. (Ver. 16.) To become rich at the expense of other's loss is no real gain. The attempt cuts at the root of sound trade and true sociality. Hastily gotten will hardly be honestly gotten. The Spaniards say, "He who will be rich in a year, at the half-year they hang him." Mammon, which more than anything else men are tempted to think God does not concern himself about, is given and taken away by him according to his righteousness - given sometimes to his enemies and for their greater punishment, that under its fatal influence they may grow worse and worse (Trench). - J.

Parallel Verses
KJV: The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

WEB: The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside! I will be killed in the streets!"

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