Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.

Some have a mindset of being lazy when it comes to seeking God. God wants us to be diligent about the things of God. When people get bored in the services, it shows a spiritual need and that they aren’t interested in the things of God. Slothful: lazy, having a mindset that causes boredom and apathy. The slothful won’t put forth any effort and expect everything to be given to them.

Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

David and the 600 men with him returned to Ziklag to find their wives, children, herds stolen, and the city burned. They all wept until they had no more strength and were all in severe grief. They were ready to stone David, but it wasn’t his fault. When people don’t look to God in their grief or hard situations, they will do things they wouldn’t normally do.

I Samuel 30:1-4 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. So David and his men came to the city…it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

David was distressed (full of misery, anxiety, and sorrow) like all the others but immediately and diligently sought God. The 600 men were blaming others, full of self-pity, and not diligent to seek God. We need to be longsuffering with those who are in grief. They may handle things differently than they normally would. God showed David what to do when they found an Amalekite servant in the field outside Jerusalem? His master had no compassion and left him behind when he was sick to die without any food or water. He agreed to lead David to where the Amalekites went. They gave him food and water. God always knows the future and know how to prepare for us. God told Isaiah “before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 64:24). God let the servant get sick and left behind so he could tell David where the Amalekites went. When they came to the brook Besor, 200 men were too weak and faint to cross over.

I Samuel 30:11-15 And they found an Egyptian in the field…and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor…any water, three days and three nights. And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah…and we burned Ziklag with fire. And David said…Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company.

We need to find our encouragement in God when we’re in hard places. He’s our help and strength in everything. David encouraged himself in the Lord. The historian Josephus said David found the Amalekites scattered all over the ground. They had eaten and got drunk with no concern about the enemy. They thought they had it made because of all the spoil of the Philistines and Judah. God prepared so David recover all the Amalekites had stolen to return to Ziklag. God “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Corinthians 10:13). David was distressed but when he sought God, God answered how to solve the problem.

I Samuel 30:16-20 And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of…the Philistines, and…of Judah. And David smote them…unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken…David recovered all. And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before…

The weeds and thorns the writer spoke of are the cares of life, worries, anxieties, anger, impatience, grudges, bitterness, resentment, evil speaking, and bad habits. They will choke the word so we become unfruitful.

Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

Sometimes you act in a way that doesn’t glorify God. Maybe it’s an old habit. When God shows it to us, it’s like a weed we have to remove. We can’t just take off the top or it will come back. We have to get it completely out with the roots.

Proverbs 24:30-34 (Amplified Classic) I went by the field of the lazy man…of the man void of understanding; And, behold, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles were covering its face, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I beheld and considered…and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep— So shall your poverty come as a robber, and your want as an armed man.

The enemy wants to overtake us with cares and things of the world so we get off track.

Luke 21:34-36 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come…unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all…the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these…to stand before the Son of man.

We have to diligently watch out and guard our heart so the cares of life don’t weigh us down and trap us.

Luke 21:34 (New Living Trans) I walked by the field of a lazy person…with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep…more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest…scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

Solomon said to consider the ant. Ants are very busy, sleep 7 hours a day for proper rest, can lift 20 times their weight, have 2 stomachs (1 for them, 1 to share with others – they aren’t selfish). They’re clean and tidy, self motivated, faithful, and persistent in doing their job. They have a single focus, just like a Christian’s focus should be on God. They never turn back or give up. They build together and are cooperative for the benefit of the colony. They’re team players and there are no “lone ranger” ants so they never move alone. We need to consider how the ants diligently do what they do.

Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth…in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come…

Jesus was diligent. He was learning in the temple when he was only a boy. He cleaned up the temple. He was righteously angry because the temple was supposed to be a house of prayer. We need to be angry if we aren’t a house of prayer and to get diligent. We need to get out of us whatever is keeping us from being what God wants to be a house of prayer.

John 2:13-16 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves…when he had made a scourge…he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen..poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

Mark 11:15-18…Jesus went into the temple, and…cast out them that sold and bought…overthrew the tables of the money changers, and…that sold doves…And he taught…Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him…

We’re running a race to win when we get saved. We need to be balanced with self control so we don’t get off track. David was distressed like the 600 men but he sought God. If our body tries to get out of control, we have to stay in control.

I Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye…they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly…not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.