from Matthew Henry’s commentary:
To what purpose have we thought on our ways if we do not turn our feet with all speed to God’s testimonies?
This comes as part of his commentary on Psalm 119:60
Psa 119:60 I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.
On it’s own, we can have many opinions about delaying in following God’s commandments, but when i started to look at the rest of God’s Word, i was challenged to add a little sense of speed and urgency to my mission, knowing in myself that my current lack of speed is not becoming of a good and faithful servant… Moreover, when i pray and ask God to “not delay” and “be quick”, yet in my own life i reflect a sense of sluggishness… How we are saved in grace, but that we do not abound in that grace for an excuse to liberty and risk living impertinent and ungrateful lives!
Exo 22:29 “You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me.”
Deu 23:21 “If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin.
And again.. not only you should not make a vow and not keep it, but don’t delay in keeping it.
Ecc 5:4 When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.
Now incorporating a sense of action is an important attribute to cultivate. When the battle trumpet sounds, do we delay in getting to the frontline? When a friend is dire need of prayer or assistance, do we delay in getting round to it? Do paramedics take their time to get to a scene of an accident when lives are on the line?
Yet, what does the speed of our obedience to God reflect when souls are on the line? How does God understand urgency?
Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”- from Acts 8.
Did the eunuch set an appointment and attend baptism classes for 3 weeks?
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day (Acts 2:41).
“Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?” . . . So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:47-48).
At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized (Acts 16:33).
On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:5).
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized . . .(Acts 22:16).
Why the urgency?
Jam 4:13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”–
Jam 4:14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
simply put: everyone is but a heartbeat away from judgement.
Further, it is for our own good that we should not delay. God encourages a sense of nowness, not just because He demands it, but it is also for our own good:
Heb 3:13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
But if we don’t have a habit of “now”, how do we respond for real to a battle call? How can we effectively encourage each other if we are more often than not, cultivating a habit of procrastination? And how effectively can we minister, with urgency, to a soul “on the line”?
Pray about your repentance, think about it.. see how you feel about it and we can talk again next week? God forbid!
As often as i hear the response that we should be prayerful and patient and wait… then that attitude of delay should equally be considered with conviction as an express call to wait when the obvious call to act is abundantly clear.
Given the commands we have to make disciples, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, to teach to observe all that Jesus has commanded- if we are not doing any of this for any reason, in all that we do, then that reason should be based on a direct calling on your life not to do those things and not simply a result of delaying because…
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.