No Message Ready
(Minute Meditation – December 1999)

Bible students are familiar with the story of Ahimaaz, who wanted to be the one to carry news to David after the battle with Absalom. Instead, Joab sent Cushi to bring the king word that his son had been slain in battle. Ahimaaz wanted to run also, although he did not know all the details. Joab asked him, “Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?” But he begged Joab to let him run, so Joab relented and said, “run.” Ahimaaz outran Cushi and came to the king first, but with no message to deliver.

How many of us go through life like Ahimaaz, expending great energy but with no message to deliver when we get to the king? He must have been in excellent physical condition because Cushi had a head start; but what good is it to run with no message to deliver when we arrive?

Our life in the Truth has been compared to a race by the Apostle Paul. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”

Usually not every runner who runs wins. We are thankful that in the race for eternal life, our winning does not make others the losers. In a foot race, as Paul point out, they all run but only one wins. In our race, it is possible for us all to win, even though many won’t. Now we won’t lose because someone else runs faster, but because we did not run with a message that makes our run successful. As Peter said, “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.”

The Lord wants all of us to be winners but we must run with a purpose; we must have a message to deliver, else we run in vain. How sad to be like Ahimaaz who was so anxious to run, who did run, and ran fast, but had no message to deliver when he arrived.

What is the message that we, as runners in the race for eternal life, have to deliver? Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” All who are running with us or who are on the sidelines watching the race, should know that we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and are carrying the gospel message to all we meet.

There are a lot of people who will not believe. That is not our problem. Our problem is that we must share with them the good news of the coming kingdom. That is the message we carry as we run the race for eternal life. If they refuse to listen, then they have made their choice. If we do not carry the message to them, then we are responsible.

As we face the Y2K, let us do it with the message of hope to all we encounter along the way. Don’t be an Ahimaaz with no message to deliver. Remember Joab asked him this question, “Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?” We should not go through our life running the race for eternal life and have no message ready.

Robert J. Lloyd

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