Okay, so I'm reading through the Bible again this year and I'm currently in Judges. I get to Judges 10 and the Bible makes brief comments about two of Israel's Judges; Tola and Jair. About all we're told of each of them is where they lived and how long they judged Israel: Tola judged Israel 23 years and he died; Jair judged Israel 22 years and he died. We get the added info that Jair had 30 sons who rode 30 donkeys and that they each had a city and that's pretty much it (Judges 10:1-5). Really edifying Quiet Time with this passage! It bugged me all day as I was meditating on these brief verses and I wondered why God didn't give us more information about these two guys. Later we get several chapters on the heroism and tragedy of Samson, but what about these two guys? Didn't they do anything? Well the Lord showed me something because Tola and Jair are more like the norm than Samson.
You see the key to understanding Tola and Jair is what goes on before and after they lived and died. Before these men came on the scene, the nation of Israel was a mess as an evil man named Abimelech seized power by murdering 70 of his brothers and the resulting unrest that followed such evil. After Tola and Jair lived and died, we're told immediately "the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. And they forsook the Lord and did not serve Him" (Judges 10:6). In other words, this evil idol worship wasn't happening while Tola and Jair showed up for work everyday for a combined total of 55 years! No, they didn't kill 1000 Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass, but they faithfully showed up for work and did what God called them to do; Tolah for 23 years and Jair for 22 years. God was pleased with their work and saw fit their faithful service to Him would be forever preserved in the pages of Scripture!
This encourages me as I faithfully show up to work to serve the Lord each day. You see greatness in God's eyes does not come so much from the astounding achievements we accomplish; but a lifetime of faithfulness as we do what the Lord wants us to do. I may never pastor a mega church, be the president of the SBC, or lead millions of people to Christ like Billy Graham; but I can show up to work and be faithful and by doing so, I can make a difference like Tola and Jair.
Paul told the Colossian Christians in 3:23-25: "23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality" (NKJV).
What a blessing to know that God rewards faithfulness and that by showing up for work, we can make a difference as we seek to honor the Lord. I'm determined to be faithful, serving the Lord heartily, from my little corner to yours....