LITTLE OL’ YOU Andy Hollifield 8-19-17
I have looked back at some of my articles over the past 9 months and I realized that I didn’t always start with a verse of scripture. This is one of those days. I began to think about important contributions made by seemingly insignificant people in the bible. People that were usually un-named in scripture but whose actions made an enormous impact on others, and sometimes for entire nations and even the world. When you get to looking for them, there are more than what you would think.
One that comes to mind is the eldest servant of Abraham in Genesis 24. I didn’t find him being singled out anywhere else in the bible. Apparently, it was customary in those days that if an heir was not born, a servant of the household would be heir. Abraham made this complaint to God in Genesis 15. God responded and told him that his heir “shall come forth out of thine own bowels”. Later, it would have been presumed to be Ishmael but he was the product of Abraham getting ahead of God. About 14 years later, Isaac was born to Abraham’s wife Sarah. He was the promised heir. When Isaac was 37 years old, Sarah passed away at 127 years old. Shortly after that, Abraham made his eldest servant swear to find Isaac a wife among the daughters in his country. The servant went to Nahor, in Mesopotamia, and found Rebekah and brought her back home to Isaac. She comforted him after the death of his mother. That is making a long story short but if you will notice, the servant is not named anywhere. He isn’t named when Abraham made his complaint to God, or when he left on his journey to Nahor, or when he returned with Rebekah. The other place I found that Abraham’s servants were mentioned was when he took Isaac to sacrifice him at the command of the Lord and his men that went with him were young. My point in this story is that even though the servant is never named, the importance of his faithfulness to his word and his master can’t be overstated. Without his success in Nahor, there would have been no marriage to Isaac, no birth of Jacob and Esau, and no 12 sons of Jacob which became the 12 tribes of Israel which in May 1948 declared it sovereignty and became a nation.
In 1 Samuel 30 we find the story of a young Egyptian that was a servant to an Amalekite. This young man had been left for dead 3 days before because he fell sick. After being given bread and water by David’s men, then he was taken to David. After some interrogation as to who he was, he promised David to lead him to the Amalekite camp if he promised not to kill him or return him to his master. David agreed and the servant was true to his word and took them to the camp. David’s army slew all but 400 of the Amalekite army that had fled on camels. They not only recovered all as the Lord had promised, but also took much spoil of the land back to Ziklag. Everyone’s family and possessions were returned to them and also the spoil when it was divided. Who was this Egyptian? No one knows but I would imagine that David’s men and their families thought that his actions were a pretty big deal. We should too. David later became the greatest king of Israel and was in the bloodline of Jesus Christ as was Isaac.
In 2 Kings chapter 5, we find the story of Naaman. He was an honorable man and captain of the Syrian army. He was mighty in valor and had previously given deliverance to Syria. The only problem was that he was a leper and lepers, regardless of their social standing, were relegated to stay in specific places away from society. As his leprosy spread, his career would soon be over and at some point thereafter, so would his life. It just so happened that his wife had a little slave girl taken captive previously out of Israel. She mentioned to Naaman’s wife that she wished that he was in Samaria because there was a prophet there that could heal him. The king of Syria agreed for him to go and even sent a letter to the king of Israel for him to heal Naaman. Of course the king couldn’t and he got angry at the king of Syria for even thinking such a thing. The prophet in Samaria was a man named Elisha, the successor to Elijah, and blessed with a double portion of the Holy Ghost that Elijah had when he was taken up into heaven. When Elisha heard that the king of Israel had “rent his clothes”, he sent word to the king to send Naaman to him and he would heal him. Again, to make a long story short, Naaman did wind up being healed by Elisha even though he never saw him. He had eventually followed the instructions given him by Elisha’s servant and was healed. All of this would have never happened had it not been for a little unknown Jewish slave girl.
For sake of time I will only mention one more real quickly. In Matthew 14 we read the story of the miracle of the loaves. At evening, after a long day of Jesus healing the sick of the multitudes that had followed him, the disciples wanted Jesus to send them away to buy themselves food. Rather than do that, Jesus told his disciples to feed them. There was only a young lad there with 5 loaves and 2 fish which he gave to the disciples. After Jesus blessed and broke them a multitude of 5000 men besides women and children were fed all they wanted and 12 baskets of leftovers were taken up. No one knows the name of the lad that gave Jesus his bread and fish but I would say that well over 5000 people were sure glad he did. In chapter 15, a similar miracle was done where Jesus fed 4000 men besides women and children that had been with him for 3 days. This time he had 7 loaves and a few fish.
The point of this entire article is to tell you to never underestimate the importance of the things the Lord has you to do. Whether it is being an unknown help to someone in their time of need or just telling someone about him. It may be that you may have to cook some meals for people because that is a talent God has given you. I still remember a lady in Tennessee named Mrs. Foster that insisted I come to lunch at her house with their pastor every time I visited their church. That may not have been a big deal to her but that kind of love and acceptance makes a mark in a young preacher’s heart and mind that is never forgotten. So whatever little thing you do for the glory of God, don’t ever think that you are insignificant. Just because you may not be in the spotlight so to speak, definitely doesn’t mean what you do isn’t important. It may not bring you notoriety but to the ones affected directly by it; it likely means the world to them and may be the very thing that leads them to Christ. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!