Feb 1, 2012, 1:21 PM
They did not consider they had something to gain in working in God’s vineyard. God saw their hearts and blessed all that they had put their hands to accomplish. They had given themselves solely and wholly to him “… who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, …” (Ephesians 3:20)
On planet earth you will run into all kinds of characters – the good, the bad and the ugly – propelled by all kinds of motives. Some of the motives are honourable, others not. “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel to honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:20-21) Each must seek to make him or herself available. Come with the right attitude and motives, God will provide the strength to persevere, to see us through.
David, the greatest of the kings of Israel
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel.” (2 Samuel 6:8)
Of all the biblical characters God had honoured, none surpasses what he had bestowed on his servant David. He rightly described him as a man after God’s heart. (1 Samuel 13:14) David understood God fully; he was also sincere in his worship of him in spite of his human failings.
Prophesying about the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, God revealed through his prophet Jeremiah; “The days are coming when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a king who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23:5-6) This passage of Scripture foretold the coming of the Messiah through the line of David. David was an ancestor of our Lord Jesus and Jesus himself on one occasion was referred to as the Son of David, not the Son of Abraham or the Son of Isaac. Bartimaeus called out to him from the roadside; “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” when he was in desperate need of receiving his sight.
“The Lord declares to you (David) that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: when your days are over and you rest with your fathers. I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” (2 Samuel 7: 11b-12)
Because David was a man of war and had bloodied his hands in conquering Israel’s enemies, God did not permit him to build his temple. “Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’ … Of all my sons - and the Lord has given me many – he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. … He said to me: Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son and I will be his father.’ “ (1 Chronicles 28:2-3,5-6) Consider it a privilege to have your son not only appointed king to succeed you but also to build God’s dwelling place, the temple of Jerusalem.
Our lives for your lives
Rahab, a prostitute and a non-Jew, call her a heathen or unbeliever has her name featured in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus because she believed in the mighty works of the Lord. She saved the lives of Joshua’s spies who had come on a mission to Jericho, by hiding them in her rooftop and further letting them down the elevated Jericho walls with a rope into safety.
What great honour! Rahab’s conviction in God’s ability to take over Jericho, led to her boldness and she was handsomely rewarded. The lives of members of her family who took refuge in her house, were the only ones saved when Jericho fell into the hands of the Israelites.
Prophet Samuel was honoured to be the one to anoint the first and second kings of Israel, Saul and David respectively. It is written of him: “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up. And he let none of his words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:19) “… everything he says comes true.” (1 Samuel 9:6)
When we consider that these heroes were ordinary men and women, then we come to the conclusion that we do not necessarily have to perform great feats or mighty deeds to have our names written in God’s honours list. First, we must believe that God can; then we must make ourselves available by surrendering our hearts, wholeheartedly.