Busy Here and There

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: I Kings 20:13-42


I.         Ben-hadad, king of Aram, was determined to take Israel.

            A.        At first he tried to cripple Israel by demanding anything he wanted - I Kings 20:2-6

            B.        He threaten to grind the capital of Israel into dust, but he was rebuffed - I Kings 20:10-11

            C.        He tried to attack, but a counter-attack was launched while Ben-hadad and his kings were at a pre-war party. Ben-hadad was completely routed and barely escaped.

            D.        God warned Ahab that he would try again the next spring.

            E.        Meanwhile, Ben-hadad was convinced that he only lost because of the location of the battle, so he decided to attack next on a plain.

            F.        Ahab again is guided by God into a great victory. Ben-hadad decides that it would be best to plead for mercy. Ben-hadad offers terms of peace and Ahab lets Ben-hadad go - I Kings 20:23-34

            G.        God sends a prophet with an illustration

                        1.         The man disguises himself as a wounded soldier - I Kings 20:37-38

                        2.         He gives this story - I Kings 20:39-40

            H.        Ahab recognizes neglect in carrying out his duty. The excuse that he was busy here and there and neglected to watch was not sufficient.

            I.         The prophet charges Ahab with the crime - I Kings 20:41-42

            J.         What an excuse! I was too busy running a war to ask God what to do with the man God helped him capture.

II.        Yet we offer the same excuse

            A.        “I was busy here and there, and you know, I just couldn’t seem to find the time to talk to my neighbor about Jesus.”

                        1.         Do we appreciate the debt we owe the Lord for our salvation?

                                    a.         We were under the penalty of death - Romans 6:23

                                    b.         Yet Jesus died on our behalf - Romans 5:8

                        2.         Paul understood - Romans 1:14-16

                                    a.         He owed others the gospel

                                    b.         Too often Christians act as if God owes them a reward

                        3.         There are people who need to hear the gospel. Don’t squander the opportunities.

            B.        “I was busy here and there, and you know, I just couldn’t seem to find the time to raise my children.”

                        1.         It is a parents responsibility - Ephesians 6:4

                        2.         We get what we sow - Galatians 6:7-8

                        3.         The children see that church is of secondary importance to you.

                        4.         They get in a habit of negligent service - Proverbs 22:6 (It goes both ways)

                        5.         We all see the decay of our society.

                                    a.         We know that it comes as a direct result of the social programs being implemented in our schools.

                                    b.         There is a lack of discipline and a lack of accountability

                                    c.         What else could you expect to come from this?

                        6.         The only bulwark against this decay is the family. Yet, we get too busy and leave things to others to manage, and then we are surprised that while we busy here and there, we lost our children somewhere along the way.

            C.        “I was busy here and there, and you know, I just couldn’t seem to find the time to nourish my own soul.”

                        1.         Even while the Lord was here, some were just too busy - Luke 9:59-62

                        2.         Salvation can be lost from neglect - Hebrews 2:3

                        3.         The Israelites lost theirs over time as sin creep into their lives - Hebrews 3:12-14

                        4.         We get caught up in day to day matters and we forget that salvation requires diligent watching on our parts - Hebrews 4:1, 11

                        5.         The problem is not with God, but with ourselves - Hebrews 6:9-12

                        6.         We need endurance - Hebrews 10:35-39; 12:1-3

III.       Busy here and there

            A.        And a neighbor is lost.

                        1.         What can be offered in exchange?

                        2.         II Corinthians 5:10-11

            B.        And a child is lost

                        1.         It is one thing to lose a child because of sickness or an accident

                        2.         But to lose a child from neglect?

            C.        And we are lost

                        1.         What can a man give in exchange for his soul? - Matthew 16:24-26

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