The Little Things
September 27, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. - Genesis 3:2-6.
In Copenhagen, they had quite a scare at the European Union Asian summit. The driver for Paivi Lipponen, the Finnish prime minister’s wife, heard a strange sound coming from Paivi’s luggage. As a result a bomb alert was sent out and the area was sealed off until the source of suspicious noise could be determined. The Prime Minister’s wife said, “It was suspected that there might be a bomb in my bag. But there was no bomb.” The Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen said, “Over-zealous policemen checked our bags with bomb sniffing dogs. Instead of using their sense they used something else.” What was the source of the strange noise that caused so much trouble? It was Paivi Lipponen’s battery powered shaver, which had somehow been turned on inside her luggage!
Have you ever noticed how little things can cause tremendous amounts of trouble? Adam and Eve found that out the hard way when they succumbed to the temptation of the serpent and ate a piece of fruit in the Garden of Eden. As a result all of creation was corrupted and Adam and Eve were forced to leave the beautiful and wondrous Garden. The serpent appealed to their jealous desire saying, “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5).” Cain killed his brother because Abel was observant in following the rules for making an offering to God with the sacrifice of “the firstborn of his flock.” Cain was jealous that God was pleased with Abel’s offering and not his offering of the “fruit of the ground (Genesis 4).” Jealousy again reared its ugly head when the brothers of Joseph sold their brother into slavery (Genesis 37).
Pride is a little thing that also causes tremendous trouble. The Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 was all about pride as the people said in opposition to what God wanted, “Let us make a name for ourselves.” Pride was the source of the rebellion of Aaron and Miriam against the God given authority of Moses (Numbers 12). The Pharisee’s thought themselves better than those they considered sinners, and that they were not like “other men (Luke 18:11).”
Greed is another little thing that causes all kinds of problems. Judas sold out Jesus for only 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16). Ananias and Sapphira didn’t give all the money they received from the sale of property to the early church because of their greed (Acts 5:1-11).
Lust is another little action of the heart that has been the source of countless evil deeds throughout all of history (Matthew 5:28; Proverbs 6:20-35). Lust caused much trouble for King David and his son, Solomon. In only the past decade there have many public figures that have destroyed their lives and the lives of others by having affairs.
Then there is the tongue, which aids and abets jealousy, pride, greed, and lust (and many other evils). James says about the tongue in James chapter 3, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”
While little things cause much trouble, little things can also bring about much good. Only a few fish and pieces of bread given to God can feed thousands of people. God can use those who see themselves as incapable of being used just like He used Moses and Gideon (1 Corinthians 1:25-30). Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz wrote a book called “God is in the Small Stuff and it all matters.” Even the little things are important and matter to God. So what do we do? In the Name of Jesus (another little thing but with so much power - Matthew 1:21; John 1:12; John 16:24) we must give all of those little things to God, and He will empower us to live (Philippians 4:13; Romans 8:37) an overcoming life, which will bring glory to the Lord.