"The slothful man says, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets." (Proverbs 26: 13)
Another key element in Proverbs points to fear as the primary reason why people do not go out and work. Why does the slothful man say "a lion"?
These passages will explain what a lion represents, or more specifically a "roaring lion":
"Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still." (Isaiah 5: 25)
In the Book of First Kings, God sent a lion to devour a man of God who refused to obey His commands to the fullest. Here is the final scene:
"And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. 25And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt." (1 Kings 13: 24-25)
A lion roaring is a sign of judgment, an omen of condemnation.
In Christ, we need never fear punishment for our wrongdoing:
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8: 1, NIV)
This condemnation, the fear of God and His wrath, is the greatest fear in our lives:
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. " (1 John 4:18)
If there is any roaring, if it sounds as if some lion is out there rearing up to tear us up, we need to know who is really out there:
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" (1 Peter 5: 8)
How are we supposed to be "sober and vigilant"? Peter explains in the previous verses:
"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5: 6-7)
Slothful people are full of cares, like the man in the Proverb who fears the lion in the streets. Casting all our cares on Jesus, who is our rest, enables us to brush off the roaring tremors of Satan and step forth into the blessings and rest of all the good things that God the Father has prepared for us.
Know who you are in Christ, for He is your life (Colossians 3: 4) rest in His Finished Work, and then as He labors within you (Philippians 2: 13; Colossians 1: 29), get out there and be the blessing which God has made you to be!