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The New Math (or “Not By Mites”)

March 7, 2007

Psalm 78:19 -22  “Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give us bread also?  can he provide flesh for his people?  Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against israel;  Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:”

They were in the middle of the wilderness; a land that simply couldn’t sustain such a great multitude.  Long gone were the “flesh pots of Egypt” (such a profound phrase) where they never had to wonder where their next meal would come from.  It was a time in which they would have to trust in the Holy One of Israel only and the flesh didn’t like it.  Just like we have a desire to “see” how things are going to work out.  We often quote all of the right verses such as God “owning the cattle on a thousand hills” and such but few of us have been in a place where the arm of flesh simply cannot provide as was the case with the children of Israel.  I pray that we would be faithful in all such situations; knowing that God isn’t limited by the physical realities surrounding us.

Because God fills the heaven and earth that he created, it only stands to reason that he views things much differently than we do.  Conventional wisdom is but an illusion when it comes right down to it.  The fallen nature tends to look at things from a physical sustenance vantage point; trusting in that which is seen and has always been there in times past.  The following passage is a great example of a person who has placed their faith in God wholeheartedly and how the bystanders most likely would have never given it a thought if Jesus hadn’t pointed it out.

Mark 12:42  “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast in money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  And there came a certain poor widow, and threw in two mites, which make a farthing.”

I was thinking, the treasurers probably loved the rich folks coming by and offering a boatload of financial backing.  Most likely they would be catered to and great measures taken to not offend them and thereby endangering the cash flow.  Likewise, the widow woman was most likely not given the time of day by those same people.  “After all” the natural mind would proclaim, “what can two mites do?”  Well, we know exactly what those two mites did.  They touched the heart of God as this ladys love for the Lord superceded any physical situation.  She may have not nown where her next meal would come from but she knew who it was that could furnish a table in the wilderness.

Mark 12:43-44  “And he called unto him his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

Two things; one that I just noticed while typing.  The telling of this in Luke doesn’t reveal it but Mark 12:43 does.  Jesus didn’t get everyones attention to tell this.  He told it to his disciples; a casual observation, if you will.  He was imparting an important truth to them while allowing the rich folks go about their way, thinking that God was really impressed with their generosity.  The other thing, well known but worth noting, was that the widow lady “of her want” gave away her only sustinence.  She wanted to do what she could for the Lord, even if it meant a night without a meal.  I cant hep but get the impression that when we all stand at the judgment seat of Christ there are going to be a whole lot of surprises. 

This lady, most likely, went through life with little fanfare.  None would have sought her out to see how she was doing or if she needed anything.  Few even knew her name.  She was just another face in the crowd as it were.  Yet this lady has a name that will live on for all of eternity.  I have often thought that on the proverbial list of “whos who” in the kingdom of God, those with the greatest mansions and such will be people that we never heard of.  Folks who loved the Lord Jesus Christ when it cost them everything in this life and in many cases their physical life.  As Hebrews 11:38 proclaims “Of whom the world was not worthy.”

I’m going to end here.  This post has, once again veered from the scratchings that are in the notebook that I use to record thoughts throughout the day.  It was going to go into when Jesus fed the multitudes with just a few fish and loaves but it seems inappropriate at this time.  Nonetheless, it is another example of Gods math; how he is able to furnish every need despite the physical realms shortcomings.  I find myself as of late writing about things that I haven’t experienced the fulness of yet.  For example, being in a place where the arm of flesh has “failed!”  Not “showing signs of failing,” but has literally “vanished” and faith is the only thing left.  If time permits, please take a glance at the comments section under the previous post, “Movers and Shakers.”  While I was away, a lot of very notable comments came in,  filled with wisdom and testimony of a God who will always be there for those who trust him.  I’ll end with this passage. 

Deuteronomy 8:2-5  “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.  Thy rainment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.  Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.”

This passage from Deuteronomy is so “packed full” of wisdom and understanding.

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5 comments

  1. […] post by timbob and plugin by Elliott […]


  2. Blessings, timbob.

    Such an amazing story of the poor widow and her devotion to God. She had only two mites, not even enough for a loaf of bread! She could have kept one for herself but instead she gave her last two coins. Yes, God’s economy is much different than the world’s. It is about sacrifice and devotion, isn’t it? The poor widow recognized that she was just a trustee of that which the Lord had provided her. Her heart wanted to give it all back to Him. I have not been in such a place of wilderness as to want for my next meal….however, I have been to the wilderness spiritually. It was so amazing to read some of the comments from your previous post. I loved reading about Susan and Richard’s willingness to step out in faith in spite of going against worldly wisdom. Lord, help us all to be faithful in the little things. Make it the desire of our hearts to devote each and every breath to praising You in pure devotion, to sacrifice ours lives fully to Your loving care – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Amen!

    Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.


  3. “I have often thought that on the proverbial list of “whos who” in the kingdom of God, those with the greatest mansions and such will be people that we never heard of. ”

    Yeah. the martyrs that die around the world, the widow who suffers in silence, the guy who runs the tech table at church every week, the woman who teaches Sunday school each week at a church that shows her no gratitude. So many we never know or hear of or walk past each day without the slightest clue.


  4. Susan’s pretty cool. 🙂 Her marriage proposal is even better. tee hee!! 🙂

    Anyways… this relates a bit but not… The situation was that I only put a certain amount of petrol in my car per week b/c the funds just weren’t there. If I planned on a longer trip, I would have to cut my driving down somewhere to make it up. Unexpectedly, I had volunteered to help w/ an agency. Normally we drove their vehicles, however we didn’t have a certified driver which meant we had to drive separately in our personal cars to the site which was aprx 30 miles that I had not anticipated. I remember struggling w/ God over this on the way there praying to have a good attitude knowing I would not have enough petrol for the remainder of the week. He answered my prayer, and I kept a good attitude, but once I got back in my vehicle, the thoughts of how I would make up that time and petrol invaded my mind. I know it sounds really stupid to be stressed over something like this, but when you lack the funds, it’s hard. I was able to let the whole thing go before I got home knowing somehow God would have to increase the petrol or do something. Two days later, I received a package from a mate who knew nothing of the event. She sent a $25 gift card for petrol.


  5. You keep a notebook to record your thoughts in during the day? That’s pretty wise.

    The widow with the mite not only had a whole lot of faith but a generous spirit as well. It would be interesting to know her background and how she got that way. I’m guessing she went through the “Refiner’s Fire” quite a few times.



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