As we go through life there are often times when we reflect on the things that are happening around us and we wonder why.
The same is true when we read and study our Bible. It is not a question of faith that I am referring to, but a question of circumstances. We may well ask, or at least I do, and wonder why did God make certain things to happen the way He did or why did God choose certain people for specific tasks and purposes?
Take our father Abraham for instance. He left Ur of the Chaldees for Haran, together with his father Terah, his wife Sara (Sarah) and his nephew Lot (Gen. 11:31). It was then that God called Abram (Abraham) and told him to leave everything behind and go to a place that God had appointed for him. According to the Book of Jasher, Terah, Abram’s father, was a high official to Nimrod, King of Babylon and therefore in all likeliness Terah was a rather wealthy person. So for Abram to leave all the riches of home and go to an unknown place was in reality quite a lot to ask of any man, but Abram heeded God’s call and went where he was told to go. Why did Abram go from riches to uncertainty? Obviously he went because he had an unwavering trust in God.
Then we see Moses. Why did God select Moses, a fugitive from Pharaoh and hiding in Media. Why did God choose him to be the instrument to lead God’s people Israel out of bondage? We all know the story how out of curiosity Moses went to look at a fire (Ex. 3:3). We all know the saying “curiosity killed the cat”, well when Moses went to see the burning bush, God grabbed Moses, so to speak, and told him that He, God, had chosen him (Moses) to be the one to lead His people out of Egypt. Yet, Moses made several excuses, stating that he lacked the qualifications for that job (Ex. 2:4). Why did Moses make those excuses? Perhaps, Moses was too humble to consider himself capable of doing the job that God had set before him.
Next, let us look at Samuel. Why did God select Samuel? Samuel was vowed to the Lord by His mother Hannah (Isa. 1:11) and was brought to serve under Eli the priest as a very young child (1Sam. 1:24-28). It was there that the Lord God called Samuel and as a young boy destined him to become Prophet, Priest and Judge over his people Israel. Why was Samuel called of the Lord at such a tender age? It gave Samuel a child-like, unspoiled faith that stayed with him all his life.
Now let us look at David. Why did the Lord select David from among all the men of Judah? David was a shepherd boy, who was selected by God through Samuel to become King of Israel instead of Saul. (1Sam. 16:11-13). As the anointed of the Lord, David successfully fought the battles of Israel, both before and after he became King. David was a natural leader of men and he successfully united all twelve tribes under one head and made Israel, not only into a united nation, but into an empire. But why was David so special in the eye of the Lord? David was so special because in faith he possessed great courage, even as a young shepherd lad he slew both a lion and a bear, and when all of Saul’s army cowed in fear, young David faced and killed Goliath, the Philistine giant.
What about Jeremiah. Why did God appoint Jeremiah as prophet, when the times in Judah were rather bleak and the Kingdom of Judah was soon to be conquered by the Babylonians? Jeremiah prophesied the coming doom and destruction to a perverse and idolatrous nation, for which act he found himself in deep trouble and in prison. Why did God choose Jeremiah? He chose him because Jeremiah was both courageous and bold in proclaiming God’s word without regard to personal safety and comfort.
So lets see what we have found so far. We have found trust, humbleness or meekness. We have also found courage, faith and boldness. Before we go on, let us look at these five points that we have discovered and let us define their meaning.
What is trust? Trust is the assurance of the integrity and quality both in word and deed of someone else.
What defines humbleness or meekness? Humbleness is the ability to know one’s shortcomings. Meek means patient and mild mannered, not given to resentment.
How can we define courage? Courage is the ability to press on and persevere in the face of danger or adversity.
What is boldness? Boldness is that quality that allows us to press on bravely and fearlessly without malice or conceit (pride).
And faith? St. Paul explains it best in Heb. 11:1 where he states “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.
Now having said all this let us carry on. We now come to the time that our lord Jesus started His ministry in the Holy Land. Why did Jesus call all His disciples from the Tribe of Benjamin? All but one who later betrayed Him and who was replaced by Mathias, also a Benjamite. Later still after Christ’s ascension, He, Christ calls Saul, renamed Paul, a Benjamite yet again. So why all those Benjamites? Benjamin has been called the Light Bearer of the Tribes of Israel. Jesus called Himself “the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12, 9:5). So the disciples were to take the message of Jesus, the light of the world, to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
You now well ask, what is it that I am trying to convey to you? Well it is simply this, can we take all the aforementioned attributes and apply them to ourselves? In today’s politically correct world, can we in child like faith and a humble spirit, boldly and courageously proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom and of our Saviour, Jesus Christ the King, always trusting in our Lord to give us the wisdom and courage to be a light unto those that still dwell in darkness.
Will the soon returning Lord find us doing His bidding or will He find us sitting in the dark, still waiting to light our candles.
I fervently hope that the Lord will be able to say at the time of His return, “well done thou good and faithful servant.” Amen.