“…he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.” —Job 24:18
In Job 24:18, the wicked are likened to swift running waters. The wicked are impatient and in a hurry to get what he wants.
And the devil stands by to help him get it by offering a “short-cut.” No matter what your goal is, weather it be happiness… success… making money, Satan has a short-cut to achieve it.
Rather than achieve something God’s way, which is usually the slower way, and the way that requires character and builds character, Satan offers a quicker way to get what you want.
That is what Job implies when he says, “he [the wicked] beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.” What is “the way of the vineyard”? It is the way of hard work that requires plowing, planting, pruning, and patience before reaping a harvest. That is, if you are going to reap a harvest in the vineyard it is going to require WORK and WAITING.
For example, if a person has a certain financial goal, Satan offers a “short-cut” to getting money. That “short-cut” could be gambling. I am asked sometimes by immature Christians, “What’s wrong with gambling or playing the lottery?” It is wrong because it seeks to acquire money contrary to God’s way—“the way of the vineyards.” God’s way is by hard work and wise stewardship (read Prov. 12:11; 13:11; 1 Tim. 5:18).
Yes, “the way of the vineyards” may be slower and require character, but the rewards are much more satisfying and longer lasting!
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. —1 Corinthians 15:58
When we don’t see immediate results from our labor, we sometimes get the feeling our efforts aren’t doing any good and we give up too soon.
It takes many blows of a sledge hammer to break a large rock. If one stops too soon, all his previous efforts go to waste, for the work of the hammering is cumulative. It is the constant pounding on the same spot that weakens the stone and eventually breaks it.
This is also true of the stony hearts of men. The Word of God, “like a hammer,” may have to be applied often before it breaks “the rock in pieces” (Jer. 23:29). So don’t stop witnessing to that lost soul — BE PERSISTENT! The next verse of Scripture he hears may be the final stroke that will open his heart to the Gospel!
Remember, the greatest reward for man’s labor in the Lord is NOT what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it. If you never see anyone else changed by your service for Christ, look in the mirror and see how it has made you more like Christ! So, hammer away! “Your labour is not in vain in the Lord!”
… faith which worketh by love. —Galatians 5:6
Today is Labor Day. However, for the Christian who loves God, everyday is “labor day.” We are “always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
There is a definite connection between our love for the Lord and our laboring for Him. Jesus asked Peter, “Lovest thou me?” Peter answered that he loved Jesus. Then Jesus told Peter, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:16). Peter could have said, “But Lord, I don’t like sheep. I’m a fisherman,” to which Jesus may have answered, “Peter, I didn’t ask you if you loved sheep. I asked you if you loved Me?” You see, any task God asks of you really boils down to the question, “Lovest thou me?”
Paul wrote, “faith which worketh by love.” Faith will work (James 2:20), and it will be energized by love. Our service for Him is a “work and labour of love” (1 Thess. 1:3; Heb. 6:10), a labor growing out of love.
There is no place in Scripture for the kind of church member who sings, “O How I Love Jesus,” but isn’t directly involved in the work of the Lord. If you have faith, you will work. If you love Jesus, you will labor for Him.