Big Lessons from Small Things
26All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob's sons, were sixty-six persons in all, 27and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy.
- Genesis 26:26-27
Remember that little fact or factoid, if you wish. In this passage, Moses records that Jacob came to Egypt escaping the famine that was in the land of Canaan at the time and found his long-lost son Joseph, who had become second to the throne in Egypt. I think those of us who have been to VBS and who know the Bible know that story about Joseph going to Egypt. Moses, who writes in the book of Genesis, says that there were 70 people in the family at that time.
It's interesting to note that God looked out for a mere 70 souls and eventually transformed them into a great nation, and from a great nation into a spiritual kingdom. And when you stop and think about it, there are some great lessons that we can learn from this ancient fact. As little as this fact found in Genesis, that the family consisted of 70 people. And here are a couple of lessons I want to draw from that.
1. God uses small things to make great things.
From an obscure family in a backwards place, God created a people that cannot be numbered today. This should give us hope when we place our seemingly small matters into his hands through prayer. A lot of times, we think, 'Oh, that's not important. God doesn't care about small things.' But we see in the scriptures that he bothers to give us information about a small number of people. So, God cares about small things. We should remember that.
2. God actually seeks our trust.
Why else would God preserve the record of such humble proportions for us to look at today? You see, the Bible keeps track of seemingly unimportant numbers so we can draw strength from God's dealings with what is small and what looks insignificant. That God created billions of stars, and these stars are millions and millions of miles apart. I mean, this is hard to get your mind around. You know, I look up at the stars and they say that that star is so many light-years away, and they're 10 billion stars. I understand the words, but I can't seem to get my mind around that. But you know what? That he took care of an extended family of 70 people, this I can understand and this I can relate to. And so, God actually seeks my trust by leaving this kind of information or putting this kind of information into his record so that I can understand that he is the God who takes care of small things. And after all, let's face it, all the things in my life, they're small things in comparison to the world, to the universe, and certainly to God.
And then another great lesson from these little facts is this:
3. Faith is always rewarded.
No matter who they were or how unlikely their credentials, those that continue to have faith were always rewarded in the end. Story after story in the Bible, our task is to live through the heartache and the disappointments of our small lives, knowing that faith is our victory, not great accomplishments.
So, only 70 people, carrying with them all their worldly goods and carts, found their way to Egypt in order to avoid a punishing famine in their homeland. And from these came Jesus Christ, and from Christ the church that we are now a part of.
In the future glory, the saints in heaven will reflect and rejoice that from small numbers and the humble faith of Christians here in this very place, the heavenly realms will be filled with joyful souls. Will you be one of those who put your humble life into the hands of Christ through repentance and baptism?
I encourage all of you who are listening to me today: believe in Jesus and obey the gospel, and you too will have that new life that he promises. Even your insignificant life is important to God, and He will save it and give you a new life if you believe in his son.