Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Of this passage in context, Matthew Henry said,
“These verses contain a caution against all manner of uncleanness, with proper remedies and arguments proposed: some further cautions are added, and other duties recommended.”One of the cautions is that the days are evil, so we redeem the time. If we do, we are wise. Henry further comments on the part about redeeming the time,
It follows, redeeming the time (v. 16), literally, buying the opportunity. It is a metaphor taken from merchants and traders who diligently observe and improve the seasons for merchandise and trade. It is a great part of Christian wisdom to redeem the time. Good Christians must be good stewards of their time, and take care to improve it to the best of purposes, by watching against temptations, by doing good while it is in the power of their hands, and by filling it up with proper work—one special preservative from sin.The Bible Exposition Commentary by Warren Wiersbe says of the Eph 5:15-16 verses,
Our time is a talent given us by God for some good end, and it is misspent and lost when it is not employed according to his design. If we have lost our time heretofore, we must endeavour to redeem it by doubling our diligence in doing our duty for the future.
It is a mark of wisdom (v. 15). Only a fool drifts with the wind and tide. A wise man marks out his course, sets his sails, and guides the rudder until he reaches his destination. When a man wants to build a house, he first draws his plans so he knows what he is doing. Yet, how many Christians plan their days so that they use their opportunities wisely? True, we cannot know what a day may bring forth (James 4:13–17). But it is also true that a planned life can better deal with unexpected events. Someone said, “When the pilot does not know what port he is heading for, no wind is the right wind.”I ask Jesus to expand the time for me, to help me make use of the time, and to convict me when I fail to be “wise.” He always hears that prayer, because it belies a heart that wants to glorify Him more, and not less. If I can glorify Him one minute more each day, even one minute, by purposeful prayer, or conduct, or bible study, then that is a beautiful thing.
Life is short (v. 16a). “Buying up the opportunity—taking advantage of it.”
An old Chinese adage says, “Opportunity has a forelock so you can seize it when you meet it. Once it is past, you cannot seize it again.” Our English word opportunity comes from the Latin and means “toward the port.” It suggests a ship taking advantage of the wind and tide to arrive safely in the harbor. The brevity of life is a strong argument for making the best use of the opportunities God gives us.
|EPrata artwork, paper collage, scanned, & digitally altered|