“Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: ‘This is what the Lord commands: When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.'” — Numbers 30:1-2 (NIV)
Once upon a time we lived in a world where lawyers were not necessary in order for two people to make an agreement and stick to it. I remember those days vaguely as a child. Okay so there have always been those who would do what they could to swindle others, but the over all consensus was that a man’s hand shake and word was worth gold unless he showed otherwise. Unfortunately, we no longer live in a world like that. It often seems like there are more swindlers than honest folks. I could go on and on about what the whole world would be like if we went back to that way of thinking, instead let’s focus for a moment on what we can do in our own little corner of the world.
As we’ve been reading through the New Testament together as a church, even the members of our congregation have come up to my husband and myself and commented on how they had no idea where a sermon would come from given the difficulty of the reading that particular week. This has been especially true the past few weeks as we have been reading the book of Numbers. Come on, the name of the book alone makes some of us tremble in fear of even opening up our Bibles to it. My husband used to dream of being the coolest high school calculus teacher, even he struggled with what he was going to find to preach on in Numbers!
Today I read chapters 29 and 30. Twenty-nine was similar to some of the other chapters, it listed specifically how many animals and what kind of animals were to be given as part of the sacrifice for each day of certain feasts. Upon first glance, chapter thirty seems to have nothing to do with that. Chapter 30, talks about how a man should keep his word, and how a woman should keep hers unless her father or her husband forbids her from doing so.
This got me to thinking. I am a very forgetful person, I can’t tell you how many times I have said I would do something and then have completely forgotten about it and so then I have not done what I said I would do. This bothers me though. See my husband works a full-time job, plus we co-pastor the church together. I also work outside of the church, but I only work part-time, and even then some weeks I probably only work six hours. However, I am terrible at keeping up with our house, especially our laundry. Some of you may be thinking, well that is okay, most of us live with a little mess. The difference is that I know that he and I both have trouble functioning and staying motivating when we are attempting to do anything in a messy environment. We both need structure in order to stay on task, the chaos of our home hinders us from doing what we need to do. It also effects our relationship. How our home looks is probably the number one thing we “argue” about.
You may be wondering why I bring up the state of my house when I was talking about how God wants us to keep our word. Here is what I have learned in my thirty years of life. If you don’t do the small things, you won’t do the big things. See in my life, doing the laundry, or keeping up my house, those are the small things. Because I don’t take the time to put stuff away when I walk in the door, it piles up and instead of being something small, it becomes something big. Think about your dirty dishes. If you leave one bowl in the sink after you’ve eaten cereal, not a big deal; however, if you leave that bowl in the sink for a week and you still haven’t cleaned it…well, you probably have mold or gnats in your sink now.
The small things become big things. Just as this works in making a small mess bigger, it has the same effect the opposite way. God wants us to do great things, but in order to do great things, we have to take that first step to do the little things.
What little thing is God asking you to do today?