Energetic Diligence and Watchfulness for the Lord
Proverbs 31:18 "She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night."
This verse is part of a 22 verse Hebrew acrostic poem extolling and describing a virtuous woman. The poem works its way through the 22 letter Hebrew alphabet; each verse begins with a different letter. Psalm 119 is the largest of these type of acrostic poems in the Bible. In Psalm 119, there are twenty-two eight verse sections. Each of the eight verses in one section begin with the same Hebrew letter.
Proverbs 31:18 in the original Hebrew starts with the Hebrew letter "Teth." This verse speaks of industriousness of a virtuous woman. She runs a profitable home business, works with an energetic diligence, and keeps a careful watch over her work. The idea of her candle not going out by night does not mean she never sleeps but is a testimony to her tireless care and industry.
H. A. Ironside in his commentary says, "In her labor she finds profit, nor does her lamp go out by night, for she realizes the importance of being ever watchful as well as energetic. How many a soul has sadly failed because, while there was great activity, the corresponding watchfulness was not maintained!" How true! King Saul and King Solomon are both examples of men that started strong, but ended in failure. While we labor here for the Lord, let us continually maintain a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives. Whether it is making sure you give a gospel tract to the cashier at the store, making time to witness to a neighbor, giving a word of encouragement, or sharing with a fellow believer how the Lord is working in your life be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting.
Just as the virtuous woman is industrious and watchful, we need to be as well. Now let’s apply it. What work has God called me to do? Do I do my work as to the Lord, so the quality and product of my work is good? Am I careful to maintain a good attitude and a right motivation so I do not lose the reward of my labors for the Lord? What are some goals that I believe God is calling you to achieve in 2014? Living for God is my vocation as a believer. If my personal livelihood depended on it, how would I fare?
2 John 1:8 "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward."