Exodus 10:1-29; Matthew 20:1-16; Psalms 25:8-15; Proverbs 10:20-21
NT: ““For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the workers on one denarius, he sent them into his vineyard for the day. When he went out about nine in the morning, he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He said to them, ‘You also go into my vineyard, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ So off they went. About noon and about three, he went out again and did the same thing. Then about five he went and found others standing around and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’ “‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him. “‘You also go into my vineyard,’ he told them. When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and give them their pay, starting with the last and ending with the first.’ “When those who were hired about five came, they each received one denarius. So when the first ones came, they assumed they would get more, but they also received a denarius each. When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner: ‘These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day’s work and the burning heat.’ “He replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius? Take what’s yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what is mine? Are you jealous because I’m generous?’” (Matthew 20:1-15 CSB)
This parable is not about salvation, for we do not work to earn salvation – and it is not about the rewards we receive in the next life, for we do not all receive the same rewards. This parable is about trusting in our Father’s generosity. I read a commentary that explained that in that day, there were 2 types of workers: contract workers and non-contract workers. The contract workers would demand a contract that stipulated their wages before they agreed to work. The non-contract workers would work for whatever the employer decided to pay them. In this parable, the first workers hired were contract workers. They would not work until they were guaranteed a just day’s wages. The last workers hired were just happy to have a job and agreed to work for whatever the landowner gave them. Because the first workers didn’t trust in the generosity of the landowner and demanded their wages, they got what they demanded. Those who trusted in the landowner’s generosity were rewarded with a generous blessing. How many times do I make demands of the Lord before I am willing to follow Him into an endeavor? How many times to I miss out on God’s greater blessing because I want to make sure my terms are met? Am I serving the Lord just for the rewards, or am I serving Him out of trust and devotion? If I just trust Him, my needs will be met, and I will be blessed with so much more.
Psalms: “The Lord is good and upright; therefore he shows sinners the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth to those who keep his covenant and decrees… Who is this person who fears the Lord? He will show him the way he should choose. He will live a good life, and his descendants will inherit the land. The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he reveals his covenant to them.” (Psalms 25:8-10, 12-14 CSB)
Oh how generous the Lord is to those who humble themselves before Him and honor Him in all they say and do. He leads them in what is right, He teaches them His ways, He shows them His faithful love, He blesses them and their descendants with a good life, and He shares His secrets and His plans with them. This is part of the “so much more” that comes with trusting in the Lord instead of making demands of the Lord.