1 Kings 20:40
And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said to him, So shall your judgment be…
We are so "busy here and there" — busy in commerce, in letters, in politics, in domestic, social, and ecclesiastical matters, that things, oftentimes invaluable, pass away from us without our knowing it.
I. MEANS OF IMPROVEMENT PASS AWAY FROM MEN IN THIS WAY. "Whilst men are busy here and there,"
(1) religious services have come and gone,
(2) Christian ministers have appeared and departed,
(3) soul-rousing books are come from the press, and run through their edition unobserved; they are dead to everything but their business.
II. OPPORTUNITIES FOR USEFULNESS PASS AWAY PROM MEN IN THIS WAY. The father is so absorbed in his business, that he neglects the spiritual culture of his children, and they reach a stage of depravity without his knowing it. Whilst men are busy, those around them who need their instruction drop into their graves, and pass beyond their reach. How many merchants in London, professing Christianity, carry on their daily avocations in the city with a soul so absorbed in their business, that they are unconscious of the thousand sinning, wretched, and dying spirits that teem around their warehouse.
III. THE DAYS OF GRACE PASS AWAY FROM MEN IN THIS WAY. Through this absorbing spirit of business, men lose their years without knowing it, — feel themselves old and grey-headed before they are aware. This subject serves to impress us.
1. With the fact that man has evidently fallen. It can never be that the human soul, with its moral sensibilities, its noble faculties, its fountain of affection, was made to be thus engrossed with the material concerns of a few short years. No, we have fallen. This subject serves to impress us:
2. With the fact that change is a resistless law of life. It matters not whether we are busy or asleep, change proceeds in its resistless march. While we are "busy here and there," men are dying, the outward scenes of life are changing, our own life is decaying, our end is approaching. We may be so busy on the shore as to think of nothing but the few shells we are gathering, but the billows are rolling on, and will bury us and our business soon. This subject serves to impress us:
3. With the fact that a religious life is a wise life. A religious life is a life that subordinates the body to the soul, matter to mind, business to virtue, time to eternity, all to God. "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all to the glory of God."
Parallel VersesKJV: And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.