This is the ideal that we should be continually striving for within the Kingdom.
Proverbs 22:29: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve kings. He won’t serve obscure men.”
In reading the proverbs, one of the ways of drawing out the meaning of the proverb is by stating its opposite. For example, in this case, the skillful worker is the one who will be selected to serve the king, which implies that the unskilled worker would not be selected to serve the king. This makes sense, after all. Why would someone who is unskilled be tasked in working for a noteworthy individual, and certainly someone as influential as the leader of the land?
This principle is borne out in Samuel’s warning to Israel regarding their desire to have their own king over them like all the other nations.
1 Samuel 8:11, 14, 16 – And he said, “This will be the practice of the king who will reign over you: … “He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. … “He will also take your male servants and your female servants, and your best young men, and your donkeys, and use them for his work.”
This obviously came to pass as Samuel had predicted and is a also principle that was borne out during the reign of Solomon when he selected Jeroboam to become a leader for his workers.
1 Kings 11:28: “The man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor; and Solomon saw the young man that he was industrious, and he put him in charge of all the labor of the house of Joseph.”
Even in the parables of Yeshua, he encourages diligent and faithful behavior as that which will be rewarded.
Matthew 25:23: ““His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”
Generally, even in business dealings today, it’s the highest performers who typically are able to attain to the greatest positions within a company. So why is it we can see how this makes sense within a physical hierarchy but then somehow not translate this over into our spiritual service? If we truly believe that we are serving the King, then shouldn’t he receive our absolute best at all times?
Paul encourages this among the Roman believers, and also with his protege Timothy in the carrying out of his leadership tasks.
- Romans 12:11: “not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”
- 2 Timothy 4:2: “preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.”
So, in what ways can we improve on our service within the Kingdom? Perhaps there are areas in which we are being gently convicted without yet having taken the initiative to increase our skills with the gifts that have been given to us. It may be in finally agreeing to that volunteer position that a ministry team has been asking about or committing to increase our learning in a study course or discipleship program. Whatever tools and opportunities we have been given, we can hone those resources into creating the finest level of service that we are capable of. It’s all about striving our hardest, not to impress others, but to bring only our best before the King, because he is worthy of only our absolute best.
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