«Diligence The words diligent (14 times), diligently (37 times) and diligence (10 times) are used 61 times in the scripture. Curiously, there are 11 ...»
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
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:
Page 1 of 17 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 sp
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:
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).
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:
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.
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 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 Page 5 of 17 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.
Page 6 of 17 Hebrews 12 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:
Page 7 of 17 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