And I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease…
A story is told of an old man who rived long ago. A friend asked him the cause of his complaints, since in the evening he so often complained of great weariness and pain. "Alas," answered he, "I have every day so much to do: I have two falcons to tame, two hares to keep from running away, two hawks to manage, a serpent to confine, a lion to chain, and a sick man to tend and wait upon." "Why, this is only folly," said the friend; "no man has all these things to do at once." "Yes indeed," he answered, "it is with me as I have said. The two falcons are my two eyes, which I must diligently guard, lest something should please them which may be hurtful to my salvation; the two hares are my feet, which I must hold back lest they should run after evil objects, and walk in the ways of sin; the two hawks are my two hands, which I must train and keep to work, in order that I may be able to provide for myself and for my brethren who are in need; the serpent is my tongue, which I must always keep in with a bridle, lest it should speak anything unseemly; the lion is my heart, with which I have to maintain a continual fight in order that vanity and pride may not fill it, but that the grace of God may dwell and work there; the sick man is my body, which is ever needing my watchfulness and care. All this daily wears out my strength." The friend listened with wonder, and then said, "Dear brother, if all men laboured and struggled after this manner, the times would be better, and more according to the will of God."
(J. M. Randall.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?