“I went by the field of the slothful, And by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, And nettles had covered the face thereof, And the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; And thy want as an armed man.”
Solomon considers the field of the slothful and the vineyard of the man without understanding. The field and vineyard were unkempt and overgrown with thorns and nettles. The stone wall surrounding them were broken down and had yet been repaired. As he considered, he received instruction. By prioritizing sleep, the slothful man brought poverty and want upon himself.
Lord, help me to often consider what slothfulness brings – poverty and want. Help me be diligent to keep my life and work free of thorns and nettles. I want to diligently serve You. You have called me into the fields that are ready for harvest. Help me to be diligent to be about Your work of getting the gospel to the world.
I grew up attending church regularly and heard the gospel proclaimed on a consistent basis. At around eight years old I began to realize my sinfulness and need for a Savior. I responded to an invitation to receive Christ at a VBS service, though in hindsight there was no true saving faith in my life as a result. My heart was akin to the first kind of soil Christ describes in His parable of the sower – His word was snatched away before given time to take root.
It was not until a few years later that I came to realize that true saving faith is accompanied by the fruit of a changed life. After hearing a pastor’s clear explanation of repentance, I came to understand I had not yet done so. That evening I called upon the Lord, and committed to submit my life to Him.
And the Lord gave me new life indeed. Those commands of His which I once despised to obey – telling the truth, obeying one’s parents, loving Him with all of one’s heart, mind, soul, and strength – I suddenly found a joy to obey. Through His cross and resurrection, He has made me new and is making me more and more like Himself everyday. I am now His servant, living to honor Him and bring glory to His name.
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
God has given us the ministry of reconciliation (5:18) and the word of reconciliation (5:19). He has made us ambassadors for Christ. God beseeches the lost through us, pleading through us that they be reconciled to God.
Lord, thank You that You have chosen to use ambassadors to get the gospel message of reconciliation to the world. Thank You that we can be a part of Your plan and have the honor of serving You in the Great Commission. Please use me throughout my life as a minister of reconciliation to call many to be reconciled to You through Your Son, Jesus Christ.