Friday, May 22, 2009

Of Lions and Sluggards

One of my recent practices is to read through a chapter of the book of Proverbs each day, usually corresponding to the numeric date. For example, since today is the 22nd of May, I read chapter 22. The verse that struck me was one on slothfulness:
"The sluggard says, 'There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!'" (Proverbs 22:13, ESV)
In this instance, it appears that the fear was largely unfounded. Granted, while there is an extremely slight possibility that a lion was roaming the streets of Jerusalem, it is safe to say that this slothful man just did not want to head out for the day.

To put it in today's parlance, the contemporary sluggard might stay home from church on Sunday, pointing to the possibility of becoming infected with swine flu. In reality, he probably stayed up too late watching Mad TV, only to wake up late and spend the day inside imbibing Cheetos and Mountain Dew while engrossed in rounds of Guitar Hero.

For me, this verse served to remind me to evaluate my life, looking at my priorities. Too often, the things that envelop my time are things that tend to be focused on my wants and needs. If I'm not interested in doing something, excuses can be so easy to find. I pray that the Lord will help me to shake off excuses I have to avoid doing what is important.

While studying this verse, I came across a hymn on the passage written by John Newton (the author of the hymn "Amazing Grace"). Considering I never have seen a hymn about being lazy, I thought it was worth sharing:
"The Sluggard"

1. The wishes that the sluggard frames, 1
Of course must fruitless prove;
With folded arms he stands and dreams,
But has no heart to move.

2. His field from others may be known,
The fence is broken through;
The ground with weeds is overgrown,
And no good crop in view.

3. No hardship he, or toil, can bear,
No difficulty meet;
He wastes his hours at home, for fear
Of lions in the street.

4. What wonder, then, if sloth and sleep
Distress and famine bring!
Can he in harvest hope to reap,
Who will not sow in spring?

5. 'Tis often thus, in soul concerns,
We Gospel-sluggards see;
Who, if a wish would serve their turns,
Might true believers be.

6. But when the preacher bids them watch,
And seek, and strive, and pray; 2
At ev'ry poor excuse they catch,
"A lion in the way!"

7. To use the means of grace, how loth!
We call them still in vain:
They yield to their beloved sloth,
And fold their arms again.

8. Dear Savior, let thy pow'r appear,
The outward call to aid;
These drowsy souls can only hear
The voice that wakes the dead.
1 Prov. 6:10, 24:30, 22:13, 20:4
2 1 Cor. 9:24, Luke 13:24

Friday, May 01, 2009

R.C. Sproul on Literature

I was pleased to find this video from R.C. Sproul concerning the topic of the Christian and literature.