“My Father is still working, and I also am working” -John 5:17 (NIV).
The term “idle and disorderly” was introduced by the British colonialists to contain those whose conduct they considered a threat to the existence of the ruling class. People who fall in that category include: those found wandering aimlessly, gathering alms, playing games of chance in public places, loitering for immoral purposes, etc. Upon conviction one can be subject to a prohibitive fine or imprisonment up to seven years.
For these British rulers the “idle and disorderly” were considered as a nuisance, deserving to be cleared; though in truth, for many their aimlessness was a result of being deprived of their livelihood. Think of a time when people used to live in communities where they woke up to roles and duties specified for every individual. This is how most of our African societies used to function before colonialism arrived to upset the social order.
Writing to the church in Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul too, decries being “idle and disorderly” but for a different reason. His concern was not to secure himself and a group of nobles a genteel life safe from being disturbed by the “riff ruff”; rather, to see everyone of us is gainfully employed.
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6). When people are “Idle and disorderly” Paul noted they tended to become “busybodies." "Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat” (vv 11-12).
It has been noted that King David took a man’s wife because Uriah, was at war, while David was slackening back home, with a lot of time on his hand (2 Samuel 11). Paul’s admonition against idleness is actually for our good. Aside from enabling us earn a living, it also saves us from all those temptations and distractions that come as a result of not being occupied in some productive pursuit.
Today, thank God if you have a task to keep you fully motivated and engaged through the day, for that is how the Lord intended to be. And where you may not, pray that you soon discover and engage in that task, so consuming that you have no time for being “idle and disorderly”!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I am grateful for the work you have given to me to keep me fully occupied and likewise pray that all believers may enjoy the same, for work is a form of worship to you, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
Related upcoming events
02/03/2024 - 03/03/2024 All day
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!