Wednesday, February 14, 2007

the day of small things

It must be evident to any serious minded and gracious soul with a sincere
interest in the things that concern the cause of Christ in our land that
our's is comparatively a day of small things. This can be witnessed in the
low state of right doctrine, vital godliness and genuine Christian

It is right to recognise when it is truly a day of small things. It is not
wrong to speak in this way. Indeed, it is realistic. Those who have
understanding of the times accept that this is so. the signs of a day of
small things, not only in the nation but also in the professing Church, are
clear for those with true discernment. It is a day of blasphemy and rebuke.

There is however, a warning against despising such a day: the Word of God
asks 'who hath despised the day of small things?' This is to regard the day
of small things as though there were nothing of value and the only proper
response was one of discouragement or despair. We ought never to despise
what is small and weak if the hand of the Lord is in it (Matt. 12:20).

The exact response to the temptation to despise small things is given in
verse 6 of Zechariah chapter 4. Any obstacle in the way of the Lord, even
though it may be a mighty mountain, will be reduced to a plain. The Lord
Jesus Christ will build the church that He has founded. The pleasure of the
Lord shall prosper in His hand. God has not forgotten His people. The eyes
of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth in order that He may show
Himself mighty on their behalf.

It is not wrong to speak of a day of small things, but there is a reproach
upon those who despise the day of small things. The despisers of Zechariah's
day were looking back to better days and asking 'what is the cause that the
former days were better than these?' (Eccl. 7:10) This is a forbidden
question, however, the Word tells us 'thou dost not enquire wisely
concerning this'. We may compare our own times with former times and
conclude that the former days were better than these, but we ask amiss when
we question the cause.

To ask 'what is the cause' is to question infinitely wise and holy
providence, to impugn the infinite, eternal wisdom of God in His ordering of
the times and season (Eccl. 3:11). He has appointed a time of revival and a
time of declension for His glory and the good of the Church. He is not
answerable to our foolish questioning of His ways (Rom. 11:34; Ps. 77:19).
To despise the day of small things is to resist His will and make ourselves
arbiters of His counsel.

This is our generation, no doubt a wicked and adulterous generation, but we
ought to ask how we like David are to serve our generation by the will of
God (Acts 13:36). We ought to ask what our duty is in such a day of small
things and whether our sinful negligence is contributing to the weakness of
the day. Does our perception of the smallness of the things around us send
us to fervent wrestling prayer or does it make the hands hang down and the
knees grow feeble (Heb 12:12)? If we have decided that God's sovereignty in
disposing things as they are has cancelled out our duty, then we have become
fatalists and have drifted away from the true apprehension of and obedience
to divine sovereignty.

It is wrong to despise the day of small things because the Lord is able to
take the small, weak and insignificant and to transform it for His use and
glory. 'Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive
tree, two or three berries on the top of the uttermost bough, four or five
in the outmost fruitful branches thereof' (Is 17:6). In a day of small
things we are to hope in God and in His Word, waiting more earnestly and
patiently than those that wait for the morning. The Word of God remains our
rule to direct us how we are to understand the day in which we live and how
we are to conduct ourselves by still glorifying and enjoying the God of all