Judges 9 : 6 - 15, Matt 20 : 1 - 16.Heaven is gratuitous. It is a total gift of God which is strictly speaking, not merited by anyone , but not also given to anyone anyhow. Jesus uses the parable of the labourers in the vineyard to illustrate the nature of heavenly reward. Some were called to work by 6am ( 1st hour), some by 9am (3rd hour), some by 5pm ( 11th hour) but the heavenly reward remains the same ( a denarius for each worker). When some labourers complained, our Lord's response is : 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you. Yes! Some priests may work in the Lord's vineyard for 50 years but may never achieve for the Lord what a one year old priest has done. Some politicians have been in power for over 16 years in Nigeria but may never achieve what a good governor may achieve in just one tenure.
God abhors idleness. That's why he began his reward according to this parable with those he saw on active service not those living on past glories. The Christian journey does not live on past glories but on our present commitment and spiritual disposition. That is why death bed conversions even of the greatest sinners is a thing the Church often applauds. God's sense of justice is impeccable ; He is a God that works with covenant agreements, Ps 103 : 18 and gives us whatever is right at the right time. He rewards each man according to his deeds and punishes each man at the right time.
Abimelech, just like so many Nigerian politicians was an impostor who wanted to rule by hook and crook, killing over 70 people from Jerubbaal's family in order to pave way for himself politically. But when the time of judgment came, God cursed him through the mouth of Jotham and the curse came to fulfilment. The truth is that so many of our Nigerian politicians and leaders are already under a curse for gross mismanagement of our national resources, selfishness and 'born - to - rule mentality'. With time, the nemesis of their evil machinations will begin to unfold against them. Even the foreign countries where they run to eat our money, train their children and threat their illnesses will soon become uncomfortable for them.Jesus ends today's message with a very big warning to all religious and sociopolitical establishments ; 'The last shall be the first, and the first last'. May it never be our portion as a Church, political or social group, to move from the first to the last position. May God bless you today!