BUSINESS HERE AND THERE
40 And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it. 41 And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets. 42 And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.
THE HISTORIC SETTING OF OUR TEXT TODAY CENTER ON AHAB
Benhadad, King of Syria, He had been given into the hand of Ahab, the king of Israel:
Ahab neglected to destroy the enemy of God's people: So the prophet uses a parable to point out to Ahab the consequences of his neglect:
"AND AS THY SERVANT WAS BUSY HERE AND THERE, HE WAS GONE"
For you see my brothers and my sisters we live in a busy age:
We find plenty of opportunity to keep ourselves occupied we begin to make excuses
15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. 16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
I just believe that the cares of this busy age endanger our soul's salvation - ,
34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
The Lord warns against this danger:
The cares of this world are, according to the Master, Will weaken the believers in their spiritual relationship to the truth and to a life of prayer -
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
The ever increasing drive for riches has turn us into a pleasure seeking generation. These conditions have dimmed the vision of some church members: we have lost interest in the activities of the church .
Our prayer life seems to have died completely, there is no more reading of the Bible; the family altar is a forgotten institution. And the enticements of the world have become the main attraction for the Christian Church.
Our opening text shows that: Golden opportunities are the gift of the Lord; that was true in the experience of Ahab; he failed to make use of them.
That was true of the people before the flood, they didn't listen to His appeal for repentance.
The Lot family failed to heed God's invitation.
opportunities come but once in a lifetime:
The foolish virgins learned this truth -
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
The requirement for ancient Israel to put the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of the home came but once -
Esau's birthright came but once to him - ;
We are a very busy people:
BUSINESS HERE AND THERE
Our ever increasing problems to make a living and keep up with the Jones' keep us very busy,
Daniel speaks of our times in terms of running to and fro -
And yet, ours is more than making a living; we have a job
to do, a work to finish:
We are duty bound, under God, to share our faith with others.
This is the great day of carrying the message to the ends of the world - ;
The fields are ripe for harvest; and the Lord is looking to us to do our part in this great harvest of souls -
Only eternity will reveal the harm done through neglecting to make use of the golden opportunities that come our way but once in a lifetime:
Ahab was sorry afterward, but that did him no good.
The five foolish virgins were so sorry afterward, but that gave them no oil for their lamps,
We ought to pray daily for wisdom to know how to use every opportunity to the glory of God and for the advancement of the kingdom of God.
What a sad acknowledgment it was on the part of Ahab to hear, "And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone."
But how much more sorrowful will we be to discover that we have had golden opportunities to prepare
for God's kingdom, but did not use them,
Or when we learn that we had a chance to help a soul into the kingdom of God, and failed.
I’m Glad that God wasn’t to busy to see................