Diligence means to eagerly, earnestly see the business done.
2 Peter 1:5 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;”
We think of effortless Christianity, which it is not. We are to keep our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”)
And we are to diligently “make sure” of our calling and election:
2 Peter 1:10 “Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall:”
Our example is Joash, king of Israel.
2 Kings 13:14 “Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my Father, my Father! The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.”
Here, in this example, the king of Israel is in need. The Syrians were coming against them, and he needed guidance, and victory over them.
He knew if that was to happen, he would have to go and see God’s Prophet, Elisha.
But Elisha was sick, so sick he would die; and in bed.
Still the king was diligent and came into him; weeping over him concerning Israel’s need.
He was in the right place for a blessing, and seeing the right person. If there was any help for Israel, here it was, in the person of this dieing Old Man.
2 Kings 13:15-17 “And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.
And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the kings hands.
And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.”
The king was told what to do for the deliverance he sought, and had Elisha’s hands on his hands to do it. And the deliverance was promised.
(And a promise is only a promise; until it is obtained)
The king is doing what he is told, so far so good. After all, this was a kingly thing to do. Open the window and shoot an arrow eastward; quite kingly.
Maybe he even thought of a Syrian out there, that he was shooting at.
He was receiving the answer he wanted! Victory was promised!
But now the kings diligence, without Elisha, is tested. After all, the battles were still to be fought; would the king continue in diligence?
2 Kings 13:18-19 “And he said, Take arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice and stayed.
And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: Whereas now thou wilt smite Syria thrice.”
Elisha tells the king to take arrows and hit the ground. Now this was not a very kingly thing to do. But the king, just going along with Elisha; for he thought he had the deliverance he came for; just hits the ground three times.
No diligence there.
His arm had already shot the arrow of deliverance (surely he could take credit for it); why did he need to do this beating the ground? Oh well, he would do it to please the old man, and get on with the Victory.
But the man of God was very angry. Why? Because a promise is just a promise, till we have obtained, or gotten it from God by the means He chooses to use.
And often those means are humbling to us, so that we will not get the idea that the Victory He gives, came by us.
It came to us, by His power, and means; but not by us.
The king came, seeking deliverance from Elisha and God; and got it. But when he had to show diligence toward God’s Word, himself; he failed. He also lost part of the promise; the part he refused to be diligent in obeying.
We are often the same. We are very enthusiastic for a while; especially when we can take part of the credit; but fail when we are called upon to diligently use means which we find humbling, or not to our liking.
Diligence is eagerly, earnestly, seeing the job done. God wants to deliver, wants to supply our needs, wants to place His hands on ours for the work; but will we diligently follow through, just because He says so?
If we will, we will be blessed with the full promises of God.
If we don’t, we will lose a part of the promises God wants to bless us with.
Diligence is eagerly, earnestly, seeing the job done. And I might add, our promises will be fulfilled completely, when we do all for Jesus sake.