11 February 2014
According to this website: http://answers.reference.com/information/terminology/how_many_words_in_the_bible
There are 774,746 words in the bible. That’s a lot. Now (this is not about the validity of the website / source). Look beyond that. Tucked away in the Old Testament we are introduced to Othniel.
Here is his story:
7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. 8 The anger of the Lord burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. 9 But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came on him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. 11 So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died. (Judges 3: 7 – 11)
His life is covered in only 131 words. Hardly anything in the greater scheme of things / the bible.
But there are great lessons in that for us:
Firstly, this guy is an untold hero. When last have you heard of a teaching / sermon about this man, Othniel? Perhaps never? We always hear of King David, Peter, Moses, Samson; I could go on and on. But this guy; he’s an unsung hero. Yet God uses him. The Spirit of God came upon him. Through him there was peace in the land for forty years. That’s a long time! That’s a big achievement.
Maybe you feel a little bit unnoticed? Don’t count out your role, your offering to the greater scheme of things. God can and will use you; if you opened your life to that.
I believe there are many “unspoken about” people who have set massive things and movements in place. They never received the spotlight. But their life was an ocean of offering to this world.
Secondly, this man, Othniel is seen by God. You and I and many others who have scanned (and read) through the pages of the bible have more than likely missed this story. We didn’t see him.
But, God did.
Simply the lesson from that is; your life may feel like only “131 words;” yet you are seen and known.
Sitting on a stoep (veranda / porch).
Sipping on a cup of coffee.
Mist settling in.
Row of trees standing tall nearby.
Hidden from the road.
Up among many houses on the hill.
Does anyone know that this person is here?
In the province of Kwazulu Natal,
In the country of South Africa,
On the continent of Africa.
Among 60 million people.
Do people know this person? Do they wonder what this person is doing?
Do they really see that person?
Truth is; the omnipresence of God delivers this truth.
You are seen. That person is known.
In a little villa in Spain;
Under a corrugated tin roof;
Among the rocky crags and heavy snow in a cottage in the French Alps;
Crammed in a small flat in London;
In high rise apartment in New York;
All those people are seen. They are known.
“Oh Lord, you have searched me and know me. You perceive my thoughts from afar.” Psalm 139: 1, 2