I remember the television commercial where the monk-scribe was introduced to the Xerox photocopier. All those years of copying Holy Script by hand, and behold there was a rapid-fire duplicating machine! The monk looked both embarrassed and exasperated. Undoubtedly the TV viewer smirked at the irony and apparent “waste of time”.
And that is how most of us regard the value of things. We look for utility, time-economy and “what’s in it for me?” The poor monk, although personally benefiting from perusing the text, could have wrapped the whole thing up so much more efficiently. There might have been many other things calling for his waking hours. And also things of leisure and personal gain.
Let us broaden this observation to include other voluminous and time-consuming projects of faith:
Strong’s Concordance of the Bible – every word and its location has been catalogued, along with Hebrew and Greek originals.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible – a well-considered exposition has been offered on every verse; and this by a non-conformist scholar and preacher considered outside the endorsement of the state Anglican Church.
Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David – an exposition on every verse of every one of the 150 Psalms; first by Spurgeon and then by many of the old Puritan Divines.
Philip Doddridge’s Harmony and Exposition of the Gospels – the Four Evangels have been aligned chronolgically in the order of the Life of our Lord, and the writer has given a personal paraphrase and enlargement on the entire text.
Nave’s Topical Bible – an arrangement of texts together according to common topic, and covering all of the information concerning person, place, event, doctrine, hope and warning.
Imagine taking on such enormous assignments! And consider them in light of today’s rapidly available cyber information! We just cannot countenance the investment of time.
But let us consider the aroma and odours released into the human atmosphere by such consecration. Again when one considers the unseen world of spiritual warfare, one may be brought to realize with surprise the efforts and attitudes that have mattered the most for the side of righteousness, conscience, love and light.
Christ’s metaphor on the potential of mustard seed faith comes to mind (Matthew 17:20). Here He is emphasizing the miraculous power of a purpose that is pure, undiluted, undivided, uncompromising and focused. Mountains can be made to move.
Consider Revelation 5: 7-10
Perhaps you have a mustard seed opportunity for the glory of God, or perhaps it is just around the corner.