God has called us to be His co-workers in the redemption work of leading people, who are running towards destruction, into the way to heaven. To receive the blessing God has promised, we are advancing towards the world, holding the staff of Moses. What are God’s standards for His workers, the warriors of truth, then?
First, let’s take a look at the Biblical verses describing the process of God’s selecting Gideon’s warriors, in order to know His standards for the warriors of faith.
… The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.'” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. …” So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.” Jdg 7:1-8
At that time there were 135,000 Midianite soldiers, while the Israelite army numbered only 32,000. Israel was greatly outnumbered against the Midianite army. However, God said that the 32,000 were still too many and told everyone who trembled with fear to go home, then 22,000 of the men left. The reason God let those who trembled go back was because they had no faith in God. If they had believed that God Almighty was with them, they would not have trembled at all.
God let those who had no faith return home, and 10,000 men remained. Then God put them to a test. The test was to have them get a drink of water. God selected the soldiers who would fight the battle against the Midianites on the basis of how they drank water; those who scooped up water in their hands and lapped it were separated from those who knelt down to drink water. Only 300 men who lapped water were selected, and those who knelt down to drink were sent home.
There seems to be no particular distinction between the two ac-tions-lapping the water with their tongues and kneeling down to drink. However, their actions served as a basis for selecting the warriors who would display God’s glory. Through such a little thing that we do not consider, God makes a great decision.
There are often things that seem insignificant to us, but important to God. One such example is the feet-washing ceremony held on the Passover.
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. … so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Jn 13:1-8
Peter thought humanly, “How dare I let the Lord wash my feet?” and would not allow Jesus to wash his feet at first. Then Jesus flatly said, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Washing feet might seem insignificant, but actually it is an important ceremony established by God for our salvation.
Thus, what seems trifling in our eyes is not little in God’s sight; it becomes a basis for His final selection. Even though a thing seems insignificant, if it is God’s will, we must not consider it trifling. For a small difference in thinking and acting results in a very large difference in outcomes.
Now, let’s see how God distinguishes those who are worthy to enter the heavenly Canaan from those who are not, through a shadowy history traced back to Moses’ time.
… So at the LORD’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites. … At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. … They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. … and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” Nu 13:1-14:3
God commanded Moses to send out 12 spies, the leaders of each tribe of Israel, to explore Canaan. When the spies returned from exploring the land, they reported to Moses and the people what they had seen and heard.
They all saw the same things-mountainous regions, fields of grain and vineyards of grapes. Yet, they brought back different reports; ten of them reported badly and negatively about the land, but Joshua and Caleb brought back a positive report through faith in God.
And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” … Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly. “… Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites. “… In this desert your bodies will fall-every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who had grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. …only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.” Nu 14:4-38
When the 12 spies returned from their exploration of Canaan, ten gave a negative report about what they had seen. Those spies and the men who believed the bad report were all destroyed; their bodies fell in the desert. How about Joshua and Caleb? They looked at the situation through their faith, and they were able to enter the promised land of Canaan.
Sometimes we disregard a little difference in thinking. However, the Bible shows us that a small difference of opinion causes a great difference in outcome; God’s selection of individuals is based on one’s point of view. There were two different ways of looking at the land of Canaan and two different results; some were allowed to enter the land and some were not. In this age, too, our way of thinking determines whether or not we will be able to enter the heavenly Canaan. Only he who does not slight the least of God’s words is worthy of being chosen by God.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Lk 16:10
The above passage of Christ teaches us that from small beginnings great things arise; from faithfulness in small things comes faithfulness in great, and from a small unjustice comes a great one. “A journey of a thousand begins with a single step.” “Many drops make a shower.” “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” These proverbs show that all big things are made up of smaller things.
So is the bearing of fruit. Though we want to bear much fruit, we can’t convert a thousand people at once. “He who saves one life saves the entire world.” When we consider each individual’s soul precious and lead him to God, we will bear God-pleasing fruit abundantly. We, children of heaven, are to help our Father and Mother, being faithful in little things.
“‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the LORD. ‘Curse its people bitterly, because they did not come to help the LORD, to help the LORD against the mighty.'” Jdg 5:23
In the days when the judges ruled Israel, the Israelites gained victory over the Canaanites under the direction of the prophetess Deborah. When they sang a song of triumph, the angel of the LORD said, “Curse Meroz.” It was because they didn’t help God when He fought against His enemies.
Without their help, God could win the battle. However, God cursed them just because they didn’t come to help His work.
Even a very small thing can be a great one in God’s sight, and a great thing a small one. God tells us to be faithful even in a little thing, helping Him in His work. It is not because He can’t do it by Himself. Even if all six billion people in the world help God, their help is like ‘a drop in a bucket’ and ‘dust on the scales.’ Rather, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing (Isa 40:15-17).
God is Almighty. Without our help, He can do everything by Himself. God blessed those who helped Him, being faithful even in a little thing, and cursed those who didn’t help Him with a small thing.
Our help is nothing for God. Nevertheless, God commands us to preach the gospel. He alone can find all His 144,000 children in a day with His mighty power. It is for our own good that God asks us to help Him in His great work as His fellow workers. God considers a little thing we do for Him great and gives us a boundless blessing. He provides an eternal reward for our faithfulness in small things.
Today, many say the world is coming to an end now. If God comes to judge the world tomorrow, we, having the promise of eternal life, will be rewarded for all things we have done before Him until today.
As our deeds deserve, some of us will take charge of two cities in heaven forever, and some will have authority over ten cities. There is no more death or pain or sorrow in the eternal kingdom we are going to; and there is no more chance, either.
Opportunities are still available for us here in the earth. When we ascend into heaven, there will be no more trouble or suffering deserving of reward.
God has entrusted us with the gospel, so that we may share in His glory. Even though we do not preach, God’s work is to be accomplished. Without our help, God does not have a bit of trouble in doing His work. To give us greater rewards, God has entrusted the mission of preaching the gospel to us here in the earth.
Let’s grab this opportunity and obey God in the little things. Let’s help God, being faithful in everything, small and great. The opportunity is now open to us all. It is an opportunity to reap eternal reward. When we are faithful to God and His word in little things, we can reach complete faithfulness, just as God told us to “be faithful, even to the point of death” (Rev 2:10).
Blessing or curse depends on whether or not we are faithful in little things. We must be willing to obey God with every little thing, every one of His words. Then, God will consider our little hands great and count us worthy of His choice; He will allow us to enjoy all the good things He has prepared for us in heaven.