Returning from last time, and the tangent, I launched into. The workers at the beginning of the day were mad, when they received their wages, why? Because their wages were the same as the workers who started just an hour before the end of the day. Were they right to be angry? For years, and without much study, I interpreted this passage as a sort of caveat for the deals you make. I didn't quite get the full weight of what is going on, and I don't know that many do. It wasn't until recently that I came to understand this passage. And I must acknowledge Brother David Robinson who wrote the adult quarterly for the Baptist Sunday School Committee, for this reasoning. The difference between the workers at the beginning of the day and the latter parts of the day is this: the first workers to the vineyard negotiated their wages before they went to the field; everyone else went to the field on the promise of the owner of the vineyard to pay them what was right.
No one in the later groups ever ask, "What will I get for my work?" You see, there is a great difference between the first workers and the last. The eleventh hour workers wanted to work, but those at the start wanted to get paid first and foremost. I remember a story; however, I don't remember where I picked it up, but here is the way it goes. It's about two men who went to work at the same time and same job for a company, and some twenty years or so later, one was still working for an hourly wage, and the other was a vice-president in the company. The one who was working for the hourly wage asked the vice-president one day why he had advanced so far ahead of him. The vice-president told him; when we started out, you went to work for an hourly wage, and I went to work for the company. (My apologies to whomever I stole this from.)
So, tell me if this hit you the way it hit me. Do I really treat the Lord this way when I go to work for Him? But that is exactly what we do, when we say, "Lord I will serve you, but I need this (whatever this is.)" So, do you say it? Have you said it? You see, when we deal with God in this way: we're asking for a contract. I hope that you get, that the blessing come when and because we don't set conditions to our service to God. I hope that this forever does away with the nonsense, that service to God has the outcome of a better than average car and a big better than average house. Are you willing to sell that which every suffering of this life is not worthy to be compared to, for something so cheap as a car and a house? Do you really want a contract?
More to come, dear ones.