TEACHING ON DILIGENCE
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The words diligent (14 times), diligently (37 times) and diligence (10 times) are used 61 times in the scripture. Curiously, there are 11 different Hebrew words and 7 different Greek words translated variously as diligent, diligently or diligence. These differences can be quite significant so let us delve a little deeper into the matter together.
1. Seek the Lord
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The sense of the Greek word (1567) translated “diligently” here is of one who is searching for something that he knows exists and therefore will not give up until he finds it. See also (2212). He will scrutinize all things and meditate upon them to see what there is to learn from those things so as to aid him in his search. It is much like the intensity of a search party seeking for a young child that is lost. Scripturally, it would be like the person who has faith as a grain of a mustard seed That is a person of a tenacious faith. He knows that there is a God, much like the mustard seed knows that there is a Sun, and therefore will not give up – no matter what obstacles are set in his way – until such time as he finds the Lord or, in the case of the mustard seed, the Sun.
2. Hearken unto His Voice
Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
Deuteronomy 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
The Hebrew word (08085) translated “diligently hearken” in both of these scriptures is used in the sense of paying particular attention to the words spoken so as to be able to keep the same and obey them precisely. Other scriptures translating the same Hebrew word “diligently”, include:
Deuteronomy 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Isaiah 55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Jeremiah 17:24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein;
In context, the scriptures reinforce the idea that diligence, in reference to God’s Word, is tied both to obedience and to giving it heed above all else since there are many other voices out there that are calling to us and to which most people give heed.
A similar Aramaic word (149) is used in the following passage from Ezra.
Ezra 7:23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
The people were to diligently (in the sense of paying particular heed so as to do the work correctly, exactly and earnestly) follow the commands of the Lord in rebuilding the temple.
3. Keep His commandments
In reference to keeping God’s commandments diligently two Hebrew words are used: (1) (8104) shamar, which means to keep, guard, observe, give heed unto and (03966) m’od meaning exceedingly or with all one’s might or force.
8104 shamar is used in two instances. In both instances it is used by Moses referring to the children of Israel, shortly before they are to go in and take the promised land. Bearing in mind that the parents of these Israelites had been judged of the Lord for their unbelief (see Hebrews 3:7 to 4:11 and Psalms 95:7-11) when they feared to enter into and take the promised land because the people were “strong”, the cities “walled, and very great” and there were literal “giants” in the land (see Numbers 13:26-33), one is given to understand that shamar, translated diligence in the following two passages, is used in the sense of the need to hang onto God’s commandments with the understanding that your very life depends upon it:
17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers,
19 To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.
22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;
23 Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.
As you can imagine, those who heard Moses – i.e. those whose parents had died in the desert because of unbelief – understood the significance of keeping God’s commandments and yet even some of them faltered. Nonetheless if we can hear Moses and walk with the perspective that he commands, we will do everything we can to never forget God’s commandments and we will strive with all of our might to perform them. When one has such a perspective, nothing else will compare in importance.
03966 “m’od” is used by Joshua and the Psalmist in reference to keeping God’s commandments, in the following scriptures.
Joshua 22:5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Psalms 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
In the first passage Joshua commands the 2.5 tribes (using 03966 and 08104 in combination), prior to releasing them to return to their inheritance on the other side of Jordan, to take “diligent heed” to do the commandment and the law. This highlights the extraordinary importance of being even more diligent after the battle is won (as it was for these 2.5 tribes who were being released from the battle) if one is to continue to faithfully serve the Lord. In the second passage the psalmist highlights those who seek the Lord with all their heart and then turns unto the people and says that we are to do likewise for God commanded us “to keep [His] precepts diligently” (i.e. with all our might). Again, it focuses us on how if the most important thing in our lives is the Lord then we will seek to obey Him with all our strength (diligence).
4. Keep your heart/soul
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
The Hebrew word translated “diligence” here is mishmar (04929). It is used 22 times in the scripture and only once translated diligence. It is 12 times translated ward, 4 times watch, 3 times guard, 1 time offices and 1 time prison. It is used in reference to how we are to keep our heart in the same way that we would watch or guard against someone or something that we perceived as extremely dangerous. Jeremiah highlights the dangerousness of man’s heart when he says:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it. Jeremiah 17:9.
Interestingly, the same Hebrew word (3820) is translated “heart” in both of the above passages. It is used 593 times in the old testament is translated “heart” 580 times. According to the Strong’s it refers to the soul (or mind of a man) in the sense of man’s will and understanding.
The issue is that the “carnal mind” is at enmity with God, which is why we are to put on the mind of Jesus Christ and mind the things of the Spirit. See Romans 8:1-9.
The following two other scriptures also bear consideration:
Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
Psalms 77:6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
In the verse from Deuteronomy, the Hebrew word translated soul is (5315) nephesh. It refers to our soul or inner man, particularly in the sense of the seat of our will and our very life. Later in the same verse, the Hebrew word translated heart is (03824) lebab. It also relates to the soul or mind of man, but more in the sense of reflecting upon something, making a determination of your will to consider or inclining your mind. The Hebrew word translated diligently is 3966 which refers to using all of your might and the Hebrew word keep is 8104 translated diligent in some of the above passages. In combination these words give the sense that we must guard our soul with all of our might all the days of our lives, bringing back to remembrance those things that we have seen of God (read Deut. 4:1-20 for context), lest we forget and they depart from our heart.
In the verse from Psalms, we see the psalmist Asaph crying unto the Lord in distress for Israel, wondering aloud whether the Lord has cast off His inheritance forever. In so doing, he does all of the things that Moses commanded the children of Israel in the previous verse from Deuteronomy, namely:
1. He communed with his own heart – i.e. meditated upon and brought to remembrance the things of old.
2. His spiritual mind made diligent search.
3. And he chose to believe God, notwithstanding the circumstances.
In order to see this properly in context, I encourage you to read Psalm 77 in its entirety.
5. Diligence is central to salvation. (this relates to keeping heart)
Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
The above scriptures are so central to the theme that I quote them all in context for you to study below. I also refer you to my teaching on II Peter 1 for an in depth study on these issues.
A brief study of the words variously translated diligence or diligently in the above quoted verses show that the Greek word spoude (4710) is used in Hebrews 6:11 and II Peter 1:5 and 1:10. This Greek word is used 12 times and translated diligence 5 times, haste twice and once each as business, care, forwardness, earnest care and carefulness. It means to show earnestness in accomplishing or striving after anything or to give all diligence in the sense of interest one’s self most earnestly. It comes from the Greek word speudo (4692) which means to desire earnestly or make haste. A related Greek word spoudazo (4704) is used in II Peter 3:14. It essentially means the same as 4710, though more perhaps in the sense of exerting oneself. In Hebrews 12:15 an unrelated Greek word episkopeo (1983) is used, which means to fix one’s eyes upon, beware, look carefully upon or take the oversight of.
Hebrews 5:10 to 6:12
10 ¶ Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
1 ¶ Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
9 ¶ But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
1 ¶ Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 ¶ Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
18 ¶ For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
II Peter 1:1-15
1 ¶ Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 ¶ And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12 ¶ Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
II Peter 3
1 ¶ This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3 ¶ Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 ¶ But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 ¶ Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
6. Rule diligently.
The scripture makes clear that it is the diligent who shall bear rule:
Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
Romans 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
The Hebrew word translated “diligent” in the above quoted verse from Proverbs is charuwts (02742) meaning sharp or sharp-pointed. It is the passive participle of the Hebrew word charats (02782) meaning to cut, sharpen, decide, decree, determine, move or be decisive. This surprised me at first, but as I meditated upon it, I was reminded that the Word of the Lord is sharper than any two-edged sword. Hebrews 4:12. It is to be contrasted with the Hebrew word r’miyah (07423) translated slothful, which means laxness, slackness, slackening, deceit and treachery variously translated deceitful (4x), deceitfully (3x), deceit (2x), slothful (2x), false (1x), guile (1x), idle (1x) and slack (1x). R’miyah (07423) comes from the Hebrew word ramah (07411) which means to beguile, deceive, mislead, deal treacherously. Taking all of this together, the sense I get of the word diligence in Proverbs 12:24 is that the diligent will rule because they will seek out the truth and apply it whereas the slothful will not, relying instead upon deceit and guile to try to hold onto their power. Those devices will not stand when challenged and therefore the slothful shall be under tribute, which in the present instance means forced service or serfdom.
The Greek word spoude (4710), used in the verse quoted from Romans above, is consistent with the rendering of the verse from Proverbs because it means to earnestly strive to accomplish that which one has been given to do.
The question is how does one rule with diligence. First, a ruler must be diligent to find out the truth of a matter before exercising judgment as the following scriptures demonstrate:
Deuteronomy 13:14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
Deuteronomy 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
Deuteronomy 19:18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
In each of the above scriptures the Hebrew word translated diligently or diligent is yatab (3190). It is used 107 times and translated well (35x), good (21x), please (14x), merry (5x), amend (4x), better (4x), accepted (2x), diligent (1x) and various other ways 19 times. It means to be good, pleasing, to do well or thoroughly and to make a thing good, right or beautiful. The definition that stands or concept that stands out to me is to be “thorough” or do that which is right or beautiful as it implies not only a thoroughness, but a desire to find out the truth with certainty, in contrast to the common practice of seeking to justify a position or conclusion.
While I believe you will find it profitable to consider each of the above scriptures in context, I quote Deuteronomy 17 in its entirety because it is an excellent example of what it is to be a diligent ruler.
The first 7 verses show the ruler making a diligent enquiry to find out if one has gone after and served other gods. It is interesting to note that there must be two or three witnesses (as commanded by the law) before someone will be put to death and then the witnesses are to the be the first to put their hands upon him to put him to death. These requirements make it far less likely that the judgment will be erroneous.
1 ¶ Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evil favouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.
In verses 8 to 13, we see that the ruler must be humble for he must acknowledge when a matter is too hard for him and take the matter before the priests and the one whom the Lord has established as judge. Furthermore, he is to carry out their judgment precisely. Finally, the man that will not hearken unto the priest, shall be put to death.
8 ¶ If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose;
9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:
11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.
12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.
In verses 14 to 20, we see Moses prophesying of the fact that Israel is going to want a king. Furthermore, after warning the king not to abuse his authority by multiplying horses, wives or other things unto himself, he instructs the king to write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites and to read it every day that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren.
14 ¶ When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
7. Seek His authorities
In each of the following scriptures, Paul commands Timothy and Titus to do their diligence to come unto him:
2 Timothy 4:9 Do thy diligence (4704) to come shortly unto me:
2 Timothy 4:21 Do thy diligence (4704) to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.
Titus 3:12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent (4704) to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.
Titus 3:13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently (4709), that nothing be wanting unto them.
He also speaks well of Onesiphorus, who diligently sought him out in Rome and found him.
2 Timothy 1:17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently (4706), and found me.
In each of the above scriptures variations of the same Greek word “spoude” (4710) are used. It is used in the sense of to move with haste, to earnestly seek to accomplish something or to exert oneself and endeavor to complete a task. In each of the above instances, it is used to underscore the extraordinary importance of the call.
8. Obey His Authorities
Deuteronomy 24:8 Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do.
The Hebrew word translated diligently is m’od (03966) meaning to exercise thyself exceedingly or with all thy might to do as the authorities say. This concept is further supported, although the word “diligence” is not used expressly, in Deuteronomy 17:10-13 (quoted above), in reference to the ruler who goes to the priest and judge over a matter that is too difficult for him, to carry out the sentence precisely as described.
9. Diligently teach the ways of the Lord to your children
Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently (03966), lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently (08150) unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
See also II Peter 3 (quoted above) and Jude 1:3 (below) for they are referring to Father’s in the Lord dealing with their children in the faith.
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
10. Diligence is key to prosperity.
Proverbs 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent (02742) maketh rich.
Proverbs 12:27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent (02742) man is precious.
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent (02742) shall be made fat.
Proverbs 21:5 The thoughts of the diligent (02742) tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
Proverbs 22:29 Seest thou a man diligent (04106) in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
Proverbs 27:23 Be thou diligent (03045) to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
In the first four scriptures quoted, the Hebrew word “charuwts” (02742) is translated “diligent”. In the first 3 verses, Solomon is contrasting the “diligent” with the slack or slothful man. In each instance the same Hebrew word “r’miyah” (07423) is translated “slack” or “slothful” to show contrast with the diligent. In the first two scriptures, the contrast is used to highlight the material prosperity of the diligent as compared to the slothful. In the third instance, the contrast is used to highlight the prosperity of the diligent in the things of the Kingdom of God as contrasted with the lack of the sluggard. In this latter instance, I am reminded of our study of II Peter 1, particularly verses 8 and 9. The Hebrew word “charuwts” (02742) is interesting in that is is variously translated gold (6x), diligent (5x), decision (2x), threshing instrument (2x), sharp (1x), sharp things (1x) and wall (1x). It is the passive participle of charats (02782) which means to cut, sharpen, decide, decree, determine, bestir. The sense is that the “diligent” in these verses refers to one who is determined, willing to make decisions and who gets to the point.
In the latter two verses the Hebrew words mahiyr (04106) and yada (03045) are used. 04106 is used to refer to one who is quick, prompt, skilled and ready in the carrying out of his business. 03045 is used to refer to one who will find out and discern the state of his flocks and therefore will have all that he needs.
11. The wicked can also be diligent.
Proverbs 7:15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
Matthew 2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Matthew 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
Psalms 64:6 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.
1 Kings 20:33 Now the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.
12. Other uses of the word in the scripture
Job 13:17 Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.
Job 21:2 Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.
Psalms 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
Proverbs 11:27 He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
Proverbs 23:1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
Isaiah 21:7 And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:
Jeremiah 2:10 For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.
Luke 12:58 When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.
Luke 15:8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
Acts 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
2 Corinthians 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
2 Corinthians 8:22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.
1 Timothy 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: