In this verse, Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, gives us two vivid images of a backslider. The first – that of a man digging a hole that eventually engulfs him – reminds me of two expressions used to describe those on their way down the self-destructive path of sin. As they continue their sinful lifestyle we say they’re “getting in deeper and deeper.” And when they’re finally enslaved, we say they’ve “dug their own grave.” The second picture – that of a man attempting to roll a large boulder – shows us what eventually happens to those who think they can keep their practice of sin under control. Rolling a boulder on level ground is possible. Once they get the boulder of sin rolling, it may even appear easy to control. It may boost their ego enough to say, “Look at that! I’m in control! They said this sin would overtake me, but I can stop whenever I want.” But as soon as they try to stop, the truth of part two of Proverbs 26:27 becomes clear – and they’re crushed by the very sin they thought they had under control.
Anyone who has tried to stop a sinful habit will say something like this: “It’s a lot easier to start sinning than it is to stop.” Over the years I’ve heard it from an alcoholic, a glutton, a drug addict, a shoplifter, a gambler and a man in the pit of pornography. None of them were happy in their sin; all of them were afraid of where it was leading them.
But there is help for backsliders – whether the pit they’ve fallen into is shallow or deep. If they confront their sin, confess it to the Lord, and cry out to Him for help (1 Jn. 1:9), the Lord will save them from the sin that will surely ruin them if they don’t.
By Larry Ondrejack
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org