13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!
I’ll be killed in the public square!”
14 The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;
a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.
The sluggard not only exaggerates the difficulty of work, but also the obstacles by which he excuses himself. The voice of sloth tells us that things are not worth the effort – that it would be far too difficult to mend a relationship, or take responsibility for an error, or stick to a budget. “You might as well just give up now,” sloth whispers, “and save yourself the trouble.” But there is only one way to know how difficult something is, and that is to do it, one small step at a time. Of course there will be obstacles, which sloth loves to exaggerate, but they only have power over you if you let them. Take courage and overcome them, or they will imprison you – they are only insurmountable to those who have given up.
“The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit; a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.” Much of the book of Proverbs is devoted to sexual temptation, and this is no coincidence. While all kinds of sin are easy to fall into, sexual sin may be the most difficult to free oneself from. The fall itself may be exhilarating, but this quickly gives way to the realization that one is trapped in a pit. The irony of the second clause is that the Lord need not cause the fool to fall into this “deep pit,” it is the natural outcome of following one’s own desires. In that sense the adulterer’s punishment is to be given exactly what he thought he wanted, only to find himself trapped by his own desires.