There’s an interesting story tucked away in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, a story the author claims to have “seen”. It goes like this: “There was a little city with few people in it. A great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man.” – Ecclesiastes 9:14-15
As I read the story this morning, my mind went to a number of places, including…
First, I wondered about the little city with few people against a great king (and presumably, a huge army, since huge armies were a mark of a “great” king at the time.) In the Bible, God’s hand regularly directed relatively small/insignificant people/groups to do amazing things. So, Church, I ask: why do we tend to say that we must grow in size before God can do great things through us?
Second, the story presents another familiar theme from scripture: (God’s) wisdom being more powerful than physical might. I know I preached about this yesterday, but today’s reading reinforces it. Doesn’t it make sense that we should follow God’s wisdom (no matter how foolish it sounds to our worldly ears) over the might of society’s logic and reason?
Third, I considered how true it is, even today, that “no one remembered that poor (wise) man.” Following God is an interesting thing in that it will lead you to do great things and to enjoy an absolutely amazing journey, but it will almost certainly not bring glory to yourself as a result. In fact, the greater the deeds God works through you, the more likely you are to be despised (like Jesus was) or forgotten. If you’re following Jesus for personal (or even congregational) glory, you’re following the wrong guy.
Thoughts? – Pastor Brad