Small things and Little people
In 538 B.C. the Jews or Israelites who had been deported from their homeland by their Babylonian Captors were allowed to return and rebuild their temple and their ancient homeland. The original temple, built by King Solomon which had stood for 500 years and was unsurpassed for its beauty and magnificence, had been completely levelled by Nebuchadnezzar-King of Babylon, a generation earlier. The returning exiles upon seeing the new temple -much smaller and unimpressive - wept in despair and disappointment. However, God, through his prophet, chided and encouraged them to "Despise not the day of small things" Zachariah 4:10. and reminded them that " it is not by might, nor by power ,but by my spirit" Zechariah4:6.
Although ,the Bible is replete with stories of great people and events, demonstrating the omnipotence and grandeur of God and outstanding heroes of faith ,such as Moses, Elijah, Samson, David and others fire the imagination and inspire us to believe in the seemingly impossible - there are also an abundance of stories and teachings of little people and little things, which probably influence and impact our lives far more profoundly. Most of us after all, do not deal with great matters and events and so these teachings and stories, perhaps, have more relevance for us as we go about our ordinary, often uneventful lives.
It is worth noting that in the natural world of Flora and Fauna - almost everything begins with a tiny seed, from simple grasses to giant redwoods- from tiny shrimps to behemoth whales, from mini mice to massive Mammoths.
Jesus himself referenced this idea in many stories and parables. e.g the "Mustard seed" The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed , which is the smallest seed, yet when it is planted, it grows and becomes the largest of plants ..so that the birds of the air can perch in its shade" Mark4;31,32 .
That theme seems woven into many of the parables and stories that we find in the gospels.- The story of the little boy who gives his lunch of bread and fish, which Jesus miraculously multiplies to feed @20,000. The poor widow who gives her last coin, whom Jesus commended saying " This poor widow has given more than anyone else, because she out of her poverty, gave all that she had, while others gave out of their wealth and abundance." ' Whoever can be trusted with very little can be trusted with much" etc. My personal favorite is where Jesus to emphasize God's loving care and concern for all His Creation, declares that; "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny, and one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered" Matt .10;29,30
Finally, this proverb ,which has come down to us from the middle ages might also be a good lesson on the importance of little things and little people.
"For want of a nail ,the horseshoe was lost, for want of a horseshoe ,the horse was lost, for want of a horse, the king was lost, for want of a king , the kingdom was lost and all for want of a nail."
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