Fruits and talents

Isaiah 5:1  ‘Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill; 

2. And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes

3. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard

4. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? 

Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods

15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey

19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath

Daniel 6:3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 

4.At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

Sometimes God speaks loudest when He leaves words out. As children of God who listen to God through the words of the Bible, it is important to note that the mentoring directions of the Holy Spirit come not only from the text of what the scriptures say, but also, what they leave unsaid. And when the work of two leaders over a fifty-five year period is condensed into four verses of scripture, there is no doubt that they are not in the least appreciated in the annals of heaven.  

God is interested in what we do. He blesses us ‘to be a blessing’. That is the calling placed on Abraham. Jesus is recorded as the Son of Abraham, the Son of David (Matthew 1:1). David rose from a forgotten shepherd boy to be a king whose physical dynasty continued for as long as kings remained in Israel, and spiritual dynasty extended to the very Son of God. What distinguished these patriarchs? Extensive work. Extensive blessing. 

God demands that the talents given to us be put to use to generate profit for his kingdom. Talents that are not activated for the purpose of generating benefit to others is as abhorrent to God as talents activated for wickedness. ‘One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys’ (Proverbs 18:9). What an indictment on laziness. 

Daniel was a man much admired by heaven. The excellency of his spirit included not being ‘negligent or corrupt’ (Daniel 6: 3,4). Sometimes when leadership positions are given, the position becomes a source of wealth instead of service. This is what we see of Jair. While no achievement is recorded for him, the Holy Spirit informs us that ‘he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities, which are called Havoth-Jair unto this day, which are in the land of Gilead.’ 

What a screaming example of the corruption that brings oppression and pain to nations. Cities named after Jair as if they existed because of him. In the Jair family, we find his position being the stepping-stone to his sons owning cities. Clearly, their influence and capacity were derived from their access to their father’s position. Yet their contribution to social change did not seem to be worthy of record. 

The devil asked Jesus to turn stones into bread because He was hungry. Stones are meant for building. And if you turn them into bread to eat, what remains to build the homes and cathedrals we need? This is the unfortunate manner in which corruption perverts development. What was meant for building becomes a consumable for the one who is exercising power.

May our precious God receive fruit from our lives. May our records not be commentaries on what we took for ourselves without any mention of what we contributed to others. I would love to have the kind of record that Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther, Ezra, and Peter, James, John and Paul had. A servant of God, a leader in society, a heart of passion that did not view life from a window, but worked to open a floodgate of blessings for many; not a flash in the pan to be ignored, like Tola and Jair. 

Prayer: Lord, The first words you spoke to man was to bless him, and command him to work and take care of the garden he had been given. Laziness and corruption is all around us. The beautiful environment that earth is are in ruins around us. The seas, streams, pools, and rivers are choking with filth and plastics. Leaders of schools, communities, institutions seem to have forgotten what your edicts concerning service are. We stand and watch the deterioration without doing anything. Worse still, many fill their pockets with food meant for others just because they are in charge of distributing it. Save your people from destructive laziness, oh Lord. Save your people from corruption, oh Lord. 

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