Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

20 August 2020

Proverbs 12:27

The lazy do not roast[a] any game,
    but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

When I was principal of a high school, each year the valedictorian had the same characteristic. Most years, he or she was not the smartest student. But every year he or she was the most diligent student. Diligent people know the truth of this proverb; slothful people don’t get it. They blame circumstances for their failures. Indeed, the one thing for which they are diligent is to think of ways in which they could not be expected to succeed.

The diligent man is not merely a hard worker, but a smart worker. One of my English students would present her initial paper drafts to me to discuss with her. The result was that I would correct her errors and point her in the right direction so that she invariably ended up with A papers. She was diligent in pursuing wise and clever means of achieving her goals.

And yet, how ironic that one can be diligent in matters of temporary significance, and yet be slothful about eternal matters. This phenomenon frustrated Pascal and is behind his “wager” argument that one should side with Christianity for self-protection. He was amazed that a man could diligently and passionately pursue billiards and show no interest in his eternal condition. So it is with a world filled with people pursuing their goals diligently, yet all along aiming for the wrong goals.

Be diligent in your salvation and sanctification that you may obtain the precious wealth of Jesus Christ. Be diligent to study and grasp the grace of the Gospel.

 

1 Kings 17

17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.’

Elijah fed by ravens

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have instructed the ravens to supply you with food there.’

So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

Elijah and the widow at Zarephath

Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: ‘Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have instructed a widow there to supply you with food.’ 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, ‘Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?’ 11 As she was going to get it, he called, ‘And bring me, please, a piece of bread.’

12 ‘As surely as the Lord your God lives,’ she replied, ‘I don’t have any bread – only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it – and die.’

13 Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.”’

15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, ‘What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?’

19 ‘Give me your son,’ Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, ‘Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?’ 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, ‘Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!’

22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, ‘Look, your son is alive!’

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, ‘Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.’