Saturday, October 22, 2011
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15,16 KJV).
From 606 B.C. to 536 B.C. Israel was exiled from Palestine, taken captive by the Babylonians (the 70-year judgment God warned Israel about in Jeremiah 25:11,12). Exiled Nehemiah desires to rebuild Jerusalem and its city walls, which had been destroyed 150 years before. Circa 445 B.C., Artaxerxes king of Persia grants Nehemiah permission to return to Jerusalem with a party of exiled Jews (Nehemiah 2:1-9).
Not surprisingly, Arabs dwelling near Jerusalem are opposed to the Jews’ construction, so they begin to distract the Jews from their task of rebuilding (Nehemiah 2:10; Nehemiah chapter 4). One of these wicked Arabs requests Nehemiah to stop his work and come meet with him. Nehemiah’s response was simple (6:3): “And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?”
Nehemiah understood that God’s work was important. He was not going to waste his energy and time on an asinine matter like arguing with a fool! Likewise, as today’s Scripture declares, we should not waste our time, money, and energy. We have been given a limited amount of resources and a limited amount of time on earth. There is no time for frivolous living or arguing with individuals who care not to hear God’s Word.
God is doing a great work. We participate in that work by faith. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6). We submit ourselves to God and allow Him to use us to reach everyone we can with the good news of Jesus Christ. When we allow God’s Holy Spirit to work within us as we believe His Word, we will focus more on publishing His Word, and less on silly distractions like watching TV all day or wasting our lives with drugs and alcohol.