Yesterday we stopped in the middle of a narrative. Someone proposed selecting you; you accepted, the church confirmed you, and now the chairman is asking what you think. Consider what everyone on the finance committee knows (look back if you will). The “son of the benefactress” does not appear to be carrying any kind of document –legal or otherwise – which substantiates his claim. He has not offered any proof of his identity, nor is he accompanied by a lawyer. He merely makes a statement about his “mother’s wishes”. He is a stranger – not known by any committee member. Even if all he states is truthful, he is technically speaking hearsay – not admissible in any legal proceeding. The check was written to the church with no accompanying letter, according to the church clerk. All eyes are on you – waiting. You’re a member of a committee, but to whom will you voluntarily unite? What unintentional involuntary unities will result?
In Numbers 13-14, ten spies were sent by Moses to spy out Canaan. After 40 days they returned, and reported to Moses and Aaron (13:27-29): “We went into the land 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. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” Caleb, however, had a different report (13:30): 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.” (13:31-33): But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack these 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 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.” This discouraged the people, who made predictions about what would happen to them. (14:6-10): 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, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 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. The results? (14:29): Because of their contempt for the LORD, any Israelite over twenty years old would die in the desert. Joshua and Caleb? (14:30): They would enter the land. The other spies? (14:37): They died of a plague. The children? (14:33): For the parents’ unfaithfulness they would serve
as shepherds in the desert one year for each day of the forty the spies examined the land, and then (14:31): The LORD would “bring them in to enjoy the land” which the parents rejected.
So – Unities you join cause other significant, unintentional, involuntary unities; some beneficial, some – not so much. In the first paragraph I tried to make it clear that the finance committee was under no legal obligation to give away the money. They might decide to invest the money in a “missionary account”, then use only the interest to fund local projects. If there were future legal complications, the original gift could be produced, and the committee could say they were faithful custodians, waiting for the Lord’s leading. Should that be your suggestion? It might unify the committee. You could be congratulated and appreciated for finding a compromise. But have you read Matthew 25:24-30? It’s part of a parable.
Today: Pray for Christians and SDB brethren in North America: The United
States, Canada and all new fields in that region.