Thursday, December 07, 2006

While Thy servant was doing his own thing...

When I was younger than I am now, I was required to listen to my earthly father more than I am now, although I sometimes wonder if acting in accordance with his teaching (as I often do even now) isn’t a form of listening since I am hearing his instruction in my mind right before I act upon it.

Additionally, I can remember these teachings as I re-read the Bible because many of his teachings have been biblical. These teachings which I label as biblical include passages of scripture. Determine for yourself if you know which story this paraphrase comes from:

“While thy servant was busy here and there, the prisoner escaped!”

Let me help you out (what sort of blog entry would this be if I didn’t get to explain something?): God had appointed the king of Israel, whose name was Ahab, to destroy a particular king and his army because that king had dared to say that the authority of Israel’s God did not reach all the way into valleys, but only the tops of mountains.

Ahab took his army out to the plains against a huge army where he should have lost the battle, but because God was against the enemies of Israel, Ahab’s army smashed its enemies and everyone knew that this was because of God.

Even so, when the king who was opposed by God approached the king of Israel, the king of Israel gave to him land and blessing, although God had determined that he should be destroyed.

After this, God appointed a prophet to tell Ahab a story (kind of like God once appointed Nathan to tell David a story). This story can be read in 1 Kings 20:39-42. It is about how a man was told to guard a prisoner who was clearly important. This man failed to regard the importance of the task assigned to him although he had been warned strictly, but kept himself busy with whatever was on the effective top of his priority list so that the prisoner escaped and the servant lost his life (or had to pay a talent of silver). The prophet told the king that he would lose his life because he had allowed the enemy of God to live. He also told the king that his people would die because of the continued lives of the people of the enemy of God.

This reminds me of a particular part of the first chapter of “The God who is there” by Francis Schaeffer that explains that doing 99% of the good things in the world is worthless activity if you are avoiding the one thing that you are supposed to be doing. That is to say that priority lists are to be arranged so that the items on them are organized in either ascending or descending order, and then the tasks upon these lists are to be performed in the corresponding order (Sabbaths observed also).

I was talking to my brother in law last night about the best way to meet a woman whose face I have not seen and whose voice I have not heard, and he reminded me of what my friend Brandon told me more than a year ago, “You must keep what is best for whatshername at the front of your mind.” I have since thought to myself, “I haven’t thought about that in a while.”

I have concluded that those who haven’t thought about what it is that they are supposed to be doing in a while are not very likely to be doing the things that they are supposed to be doing. I would have been one of those people in that instance.

So if you are a wife who is busy serving your church, your children, your neighbor and everyone but your husband, skip to the last paragraph of this web log entry.

If you are a child who loves to read church web logs and learn lots of big words of theology while ignoring the teaching of your parents, skip to the last paragraph of this web log entry.

If you are an employee and you steal resources from your employee and give them to your church, read on.

Start doing what you are supposed to be doing because you can sin through omission. If you don’t know what it is that you are supposed to be doing, put some effort into finding out before more time and energy is wasted.


Blogger jefro said...

We used this for our church officer's meeting on Saturday. I cannot explain what the old stories do to me - it is as if I am watching from above as the men of God worked, swayed, buckled down and pressed on in spite of a generation not unlike our own. As part of this grand story before Revelation, I would hope that those looking down on this story would see the same things being played out in our lives to the end of glorifing His name.

2:38 PM  

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