The Proceeds of Diligence

open-bible 2“The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor…A lazy man does not roast his prey but the precious possession of a man is diligence.” Proverbs 12:24, 27.

One of the qualities that seems to be waning in our culture today is diligence. The perseverance of character that marked a generation not too many years ago seems to be lost on most in the current one.

The writer of Proverbs in this short section focuses on the wisdom of diligence. One who is diligent will have the responsibility to lead and rule, whereas the man lacking diligence will find himself a slave. In verse 27 we see the contrast of the conduct of the lazy and diligent man…the lazy man hunts and kills but does not see the task through to its intended reward…by cooking that which he hunted for so that he may eat. In contrast, the wise man sticks with the task to completion so as to enjoy the rewards of diligence.

The Hebrew word for diligence has a wide semantic domain (range of meanings based on context) but the picture formed in looking at them is consistent. Diligence is like one who keeps his blades sharpened and is precise in his labor. Diligence is the man who avoids distraction and who refuses to quit. The lazy man wastes all of his efforts in hunting by neglecting to finish the task of cooking the meat; whereas, the diligent man presses on to completion and is therefore rewarded by his efforts.

The analogies abound but what if Edison had quit one experiment before inventing the light bulb? What if Ford had backed away with only a set of drawings on a napkin of what a mass production assembly line process could look like? What if Ray Kroc had allowed his vision of franchised restaurants and systematized food preparation to die when rebuffed by the McDonald brothers?

The reason we have commercially produced incandescent light bulbs, an automobile or three in every driveway and can get a Big Mac in every major city in America (and throughout most of the developed world) is because of diligence.

  • What were you led to begin that is not yet finished? Resolve to complete the task.
  • What did you start that you let drift into oblivion that may need to be restored?
  • What commitment do you need to “shore up” in your heart in order to complete it?

Be diligent, and in so doing, fulfill the destiny for which you were created as a son or daughter of the King!

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#P5: Too Great a Journey

Pastor's Five, P5 logoThe angel said to Elijah, “…Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 1 Kings 19:7, NASB.

This is perhaps one of the most significant chapters of Scripture in my personal journey. I often return here as I wrestle with the conviction of God’s calling and the cost of obedience in my own life.

Elijah has just seen God move powerfully on Mt. Carmel. He has done a supernatural feat and must be on a spiritual high! Then Jezebel threatens him. He certainly believes the threat because he is afraid and flees to Beersheba. As Elijah lays down to die, he is ministered to by the Lord and it is only the provision of God that sustained him over the next 40 days to Mt. Horeb.

God chose to speak to Elijah there, but not until a couple of reflecting questions were posed. Every minister needs to hear and answer these questions from time to time. God chose to speak softly…not in the way He spoke at Mt. Carmel with fire from heaven. He spoke personally, privately, and prominently to His prophet…as He reminded him that his mission was not up until God said it was. Elijah was strengthened and returned to Damascus and played out the last chapter of his earthly life’s story.

What is significant to see today…is that God’s provision is sufficient. Apart from Him and IT…we cannot finish the course before us. We will fail. The journey is too great. But with God, we are amply supplied…even if we do not know it in the moment.

When you find yourself at the end of your rope, remember who holds the rope and take courage. Look for the provision of God. Consume it. Rest in it. Be restored to your mission. Finish your course.

Shalom, CA