A few days ago, a certain hymn kept coming to me in my native Yoruba language. Growing up in a Yoruba Anglican Church, I am quite familiar with a lot of the hymns. As a matter of fact, I have a better recollection of those hymns than I do of the Hymns, Ancient and Modern.

The hymn is “Sise tori oru mbo” which means “Work because night time will come “. The inspiration for this hymn is the scripture in John 9:4, which goes – “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5 NLT

Jesus had seen a man, who was blind from birth and He was going to restore the man’s sight when His disciples asked if it was the man or his parents who had sinned. Jesus explained that neither the man nor his parents had sinned but that the healing of the man would reveal the power of God.

Jesus was a working man. Whether it was healing, teaching, preaching or even working as a carpenter in His earlier years, He was a man of work. There were times He rested as is expected of everyone; like falling asleep on the boat but He could never be described as lazy. In the above scripture, Jesus encourages us to do the same. Notice He said as long as He is still in the world, He is the light of the world. And though Jesus has ascended into heaven, He has left the Holy Spirit with us. That means we still have light and therefore we can work regardless of what age we are and our work is to reveal the power of God.

In the Psalms we are told that those  “planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” Psalms 92: 13-14 NIV

What fruit are we bearing now? Age is not a barrier to being productive. We must always let our light shine. Being idle under any guise whatsoever is a recipe for evil and disaster. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.” Proverbs 16:27 The Living Bible

David fell into that trap. He was literally lazing around when he saw and committed adultery with Bathsheba. He should have been at war with his compatriots but he decided to be chilling and browsing. “In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he saw a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, ‘She is Bathsbeba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. “ 2 Samuel 11: 1-4a

Be careful how you chill and browse! David went from the frying pan into the fire and before he knew it, he was plotting a murder. It was just a casual staying back or waiting behind when the others had gone off to work. Idleness will not reveal the power or glory of God.

It is not in the place of idleness that we are blessed. It is in the place of meditating on the Word of God.

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields it’s fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” Psalms 1: 1-3 NIV

They are not idle. They are doing something. And they prosper at it. Let us spend our time wisely and do whatever we have to do quickly.

And as the English version of that Yoruba hymn says ” WORK FOR THE NIGHT IS COMING, WHEN MAN’S WORK IS DONE”