SELFLESS SACRIFICIAL SERVICE
- the Rt. Revd J. O. Akinola, Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Igbomina West
“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6
For God to instruct man to go to the ant and learn is a matter to consider very well. A man can effortlessly kill more than a hundred ants with his foot. Despite this, God still instruct man to learn from the wisdom of this feeble creature. This is a challenge for us. Brethren, I desire that we learn from the life of a man called Uriah in the Holy Bible.
Much was not written about the background of Uriah, but three important aspects of his life were revealed. Uriah was a Hittite. He was popularly known as “URIAH THE HITTITE”. The second thing about him was that he was married to a beautiful wife named Bathsheba. Her great beauty was what drawn David to her. The third was his name. Bible commentary made us to know the meaning of his name was “JEHOVAH IS LIGHT”. Above all his attributes, his character was in consonant with his name. The scripture revealed that Jesus is life and this life is the light of men. The light shines in darkness and the darkness was unable to defeat, overpower or conquer him. Uriah demonstrated the light of Jehovah by his life. He was a man that was so dedicated and committed to God in all his ways.
A war broke out after his wedding and according to Jewish tradition he should stay back with his wife. But due to his sacrificial service to God, he came out of the honeymoon to fight for the cause of Jehovah. Israelites’ army, according to practice do go to battle with the Ark of Covenant of God. Joab led the Israel army while King David stayed back in Israel. At his installation, the scripture testified that David was a man after God’s own heart. It is possible for a man to forget the goodness of God when things are going on well for him.
In the process of staying back from his responsibility for personal comfort, David lusted after the beauty of Bathsheba which led to adultery. The king invited Uriah from the battle field when he was told of her pregnancy. On his arrival, Uriah anxiously asked “O king, hope no problem that you sent for me?” The king asked him to go home and refresh himself till the second day. An emissary with gift was sent after him. But on the second day, the king was informed that Uriah slept at the gate instead of going home.
Uriah ought to have gone home with the king’s generosity to his wife and probably say “My dear, I am so much favoured that the king sent for me from the battle field. Let us praise God. He asked me to come; I don’t even know till now what he will say. And see, I am accompanied with great gift”. He preferred to sleep at the gate! The king queried him the second day “I told you to go home and refresh yourself. Why do you sleep here with other servants?”. He had expected Uriah to go home in order to cover his evil deed.
Uriah vehemently refused: “How can I go home? Should I go home in order to eat, refresh myself and sleep with my wife when the ark of Covenant is at the battle field? Should I go home when my brothers, colleagues and all youth were defending our nation and Joab the commander is at war with the enemy? The testimony of Israel is under test, whether he will conquer or not. How can I put my personal comfort before my consecration?” (II Sam. 11:11). Uriah held God and his superior in great honour. How many of us hold God and our leaders in high esteem like this? It was not wrong for him to go home and sleep with his wife, but he saw it as a sin at such a time like this.
Beloved of God, when you do the right thing at the wrong time, it means you have done wrong thing. To eat, refresh and sleep with ones wife is not a sin, but the timing is wrong. Your time would expire. My time would expire. If we do well or not it would all go on record. David in 2 Sam. 24:24 said God forbid that he would give to God what cost him nothing. What costs you nothing is never of any value to God. I will never give something that cost me nothing to God. What cost you nothing is unacceptable to God. It is only valuable possession that is acceptable to God. Many had left great possession and profession to follow the LORD Jesus. Many have left places of comfort for the bush in order to reach to the unreached. God demands and deserves the best from you. He who denies himself of rights, privileged and comfort would never go unrewarded.
Let us learn from the life of Uriah, though we may ask why God permitted his death, yet God rewarded and honoured him. His name was put in God’s Guinness book of record. In Matthew 1:1-6, God still recorded the name of Uriah as the husband of Bathsheba. God remembered Uriah’s character, works and consecration. Do I want my name to be in the book of life? Consider you ways. I am here today as you are also there, but another person would occupy our positions tomorrow. You are writing the story of your life for generations after you to read. What would men say after you? What would God say about you after your demise? Let us consider our attitude to God and His cause. May the Lord grant us the grace to apply our heart to understanding.
20th December, 2016 - 04:59 PM
15th September, 2016 - 08:54 PM
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