Thursday, April 21, 2011

Proverbs 12:27

"A lazy man does not roast his prey, but the precious possession of a man is diligence"

Do you struggle with the temptation to be lazy? Do you value diligence as a precious possession?  When you think about the day ahead do you give thanks for the work that God has put before you? When we are thinking Biblically about our day it is easy to recognize that work is something to be treasured, for it provides the environment for us to apply our understanding of Scripture for the purpose of glorifying God.  When we stray from Biblical thinking we view the day's work as a race to get to the leisure activities that await us when we get home, in other words: "me time".  God has such a high view of work that He chose to introduce Himself to man as a working God in the opening chapters of Genesis.  This does not mean that we are to work ourselves into the ground for Proverbs 23:4 states that we are not to overwork to be rich.  We are to rest, but we are to utilize our rest to reflect on the grace of God and His provision.  There is no place in our walk for "me time".  Time is a valuable resource given to us by God for His pleasure, not our own.  We should be spending our rest engaging in activities that draw us nearer to God rather than the culture. Rest also enables us to appreciate what we accomplished during the day.  Failure to be diligent in our daily work removes the opportunity that God has provided for us to enjoy genuine appreciation for our day's work. Scripture is clear: there is a time for work and a time for rest.

Reflect for a moment on the greatest failure of the great believer King David as recorded in 2 Samuel 11.  "Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem."  While David's army was fighting, their leader stayed home and engaged in an affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.  After finding out that Bathsheba was pregnant, David devised a devious scheme to call Uriah back from the battle so that he would lie with his wife and cover up the fact that David was the father of Bathsheba's child.  Uriah refused to go into his house and see his wife.  When David questioned him as to why, Uriah said the following:  "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing." (2 Samuel 11:11).  Uriah recognized that the time for rest had not arrived, because there was work to be done.  David then ordered Joab to place Uriah in the front of the battle in order to ensure his death.  His plan worked, making David both an adulterer and a murderer.  This was quite a fall for the man who God described as a "man after His own heart".  The road to this great failure began when David failed to engage in the work that God had given him to do which was to lead the armies of Israel into battle.  David had rested when it was time to work.

Rejoice in the work that God has set before you.  Be diligent to accomplish each task to the best of your ability for the glory of God.  Be known as a person who can be counted on to get the job done without cutting corners.  Do your work in a manner that brings honor and glory to God and provides you with the opportunity to be a witness for the Gospel.  Lead by example in the manner of Uriah rather than David.  Don't rest while there is work to be done.  When it is time for rest, draw nearer to God by reflecting on His gracious provision of your work.

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