From the beginning of time, we see the first man, Adam, given responsibility by God (Gen. 2:15). Adam was to occupy himself with keeping the Garden in Eden. God never intended for man to just sit around and do nothing. Man needs to be occupied! God has given every believer a spiritual gift. Spiritual gifts were given to us at the moment of salvation. We also have talents. These talents or abilities may have been evident before we were saved. Nonetheless, we are to be busy stirring up the gift that is within us. In 2 Timothy 1:6, the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to use the gift that God had given him. God desires that we use our talents as well in service for the Lord.
Sitting Or Standing?
In 1 Samuel 1:9, we read of Eli the priest. Hannah had come to the temple with heaviness of heart to pray, and Eli the priest had a conversation with her. We find Eli, not standing, but sitting on a chair by the door post when he should have been standing. In Hebrews 10:11 it says, “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties.”
There is no doubt as to the reason why Eli misjudged and misunderstood Hannah. Eli had become dull. He was not occupied in the manner designed for the priests! Indifference, apathy and idleness had come into Eli’s life. This kept him from being alert and spiritually in tune with God.
David also became a victim of idleness! His idleness led to the sin that he committed with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11:1-5). David should have gone to battle (vs. 1). David ended up where he did not belong and he dishonored God and brought grief and heartache upon himself and Bathsheba. He walked around on the roof of his house as though he had nothing to do. When we become idle, we can guarantee that trouble will find us!
Eli was sitting when he should have been standing, and David was walking when he should have been standing in battle against the enemy.
Busybodies Or Busy Bodies?
Dorcas (Tabitha) was a woman on the move for God! She knew what her spiritual gift was, and she used it to minister to the widows who were in need (Acts 9:36). She probably possessed more than one gift. She was a giving and compassionate sister.
Dorcas used her talent and ability to make clothing for the widows. How encouraging that must have been to those women who no longer had a husband to provide for their needs! She used her time wisely. She was occupied for the Lord. She became a tremendous blessing!
At her death, the garments she had made were brought forth in honor of her service. What a double blessing it was when she was raised from the dead (Acts 9:40). Great rejoicing and glory to God was the shout that day! Dorcas would never allow herself to be found idle!
In 1 Timothy 5:13-14 the younger widows are encouraged to remarry and have children and not become idle. “We hear that some among you are idle” (2 Th. 3:11). Some saints in the early Church felt that since the Lord was coming back soon, they didn’t have to work and they chose to become idle. They became complacent and lax. They were commanded and urged to get back to work (3:12) and not to get tired of doing what was right!
In Isaiah 32:9-12 we read of some careless women. These women were from Jerusalem. They became comfortable and complacent. They were warned to rise up and hear what God had to say. Judgment was coming and they were not going to be prepared for the outcome.
When we become indifferent to the things of God we automatically become idle, folding our hands and taking our ease. When trouble comes how can we survive if we spend our days being idle? We would tremble with fear! That was the warning to these women of Jerusalem!
God holds us accountable to Him for all that He has given us! He expects that while He is away we will be busy and occupied for Him. With the daily tasks of each day and the gifts and abilities God has given us, there should be no time for idleness! We should be desirous of more time in our schedules so that we can do more for God!
God doesn’t expect us to wear out or rust out for Him. He knows that we need rest also. He is very aware of the fact that we need time for our families. God also is very aware of the amount of time that He has given to each of His children. He holds us responsible to Him for that amount of time. He expects to see productivity! Ecclesiastes 10:18 says, “If a man is lazy the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.”
God held David accountable for his actions. David stepped off the path of service and into the path of temptation. As a result, Bathsheba’s baby died, and the murder of her husband Uriah was not overlooked. David paid a dear price for the sin of adultery and murder.
Eli’s dullness and complacency cost him his life! He accused Hannah of being drunk and he didn’t do anything about his sons’ behavior (1 Sam. 3:11-14).
In Matthew 25:14-28, we read about the parable of the Talents. The master returned to find that some servants had increased what he had originally given them, but one hadn’t. He was characterized as unfaithful. The little he had been given was taken away from him and given to someone who already had more. His master didn’t want to hear his excuses and reasons. He was disobedient! He was held accountable to his master!
What words do you want to hear from the Lord? Will it be, “Well done thou good and faithful servant” (Mt. 25:23)? Those are the only words that the Lord wants to give on that coming day. The Lord’s desire is that we be rewarded for our faithfulness to Him. After all, from the day He saved us He had a list of all the things that we could accomplish for His honor and glory. He has a calendar with every opportunity checked off.
He has fully equipped us to do what He has chosen for us to do. Let’s not disappoint Him! Let us rise up while it is day and get ourselves going again for His honor and glory!
By Pat Stuart
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org