This verse is messing up my world. In a good way. See, if you follow my posts, you would know that I am striving to be a more diligent person. For some reason it seems to be an unattainable goal for me. At least, in my head it is. I feel as though I get everything set up to give it another go, only to fall flat on my face yet again. So there I am, resting on the couch just thinking, and thinking is what always gets me into trouble, because for me thinking involves thinking deeply about life, mothering, homeschooling, wife-ing (not a word, but let’s just roll with it), and business. Then I end up stressing about everything and how well or not I think I am doing in these areas and realizing my lack of diligence.
Diligence. It’s the one thing I’ve been striving for. Along with being the one thing where I see a continually lack. I try so hard to make it work, yet end up failing. Then, I feel the Lord prompt me to do a word study on the word “diligent”. I quickly get up off the couch, feeling a rush of excitement (words always excite me) and I search out my bible and grab my new friend, Strong’s Concordance. I look up the verse I always go to when trying to feel encouraged about being diligent.
“Poor is he who works with a negligent (lazy) hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.” -Prov. 10:4
As I look it up in the Strong’s, I find that this specific “diligent” comes from the Hebrew word “charuts” but is in part of the word, “charats” meaning: to cut, sharpen, decide. But other words that have a similar meaning is: diligence, sharp & threshing sledge. Wait. What?! Why on earth does threshing sledge have the same meaning? What the heck is a threshing sledge?! That word specifically caught my attention. So, naturally, curiosity took over and I HAD to google it. Here is what I came across on Google from “Coffee with Jesus” blog (http://www.coffee-with-jesus.com/2011/06/new-and-sharp-threshing-sledge.html?m=1)
“See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff…” Isaiah 41:15
Barnes’ Notes on Bible has a beautiful explanation for this verse which I would like to share with you:
The object of the illustration in this verse and the following is, to show that God would clothe them with power, and that all difficulties in their way would vanish. To express this idea, the prophet uses an image derived from the mode of threshing in the East, where the heavy wain or sledge was made to pass over a large pile of sheaves, and to bruise out the grain, and separate the chaff, so that the wind would drive it away. The phrase, ‘I will make thee,’ means, ‘I will constitute, or appoint thee,’ that is, thou shalt be such a threshing instrument. It is not that God would make such a sledge or wain for them, but that they should be such themselves; they should beat down and remove the obstacles in the way as the threshing wain crushed the pile of grain.
And Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary has it this way:
The Lord will make Jacob to become a threshing instrument. God will make him fit for use, new, and having sharp spikes. This has fulfilment in the triumphs of the gospel of Christ, and of all faithful followers of Christ, over the power of darkness.
Isn’t that something to be a new and sharp threshing sledge?!”
Wow. Just wow! God is so amazing to connect words like that, isn’t He?! Two things here:
1. He (God) must make us into a threshing sledge, and we must be willing. We can do nothing apart from God and in all my willing and striving to become diligent is useless. Unless I bring it before God and ask Him to make me to be a threshing sledge.
2. God wants us to be the threshing sledge. He has equipped us to overcome obstacles, to crush mountains and make hills into chaff. He will give us all the tools we need to overcome, but we must do our part and break down those obstacles that keep us from where we need to go. To remove all that hinders love and all that ensnares us.
So what do I vow (and I don’t take the word “vow” lightly) to become in 2016? To become a Threshing Sledge. Will you join me? Will you join me in asking God to mold us into Threshing Sledges? To remove all obstacles that keep us from being all that God intended us to be. May we be focused and intentional people.