So small – he doesn’t count!

Robert Moffat

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Jesus answered and said, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.

1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 11:25.

Towards the end of the 18th century the responsible verger of a small Scottish church wrote this entry in the register. “This has been a very sad year. There has not been a conversion, and no-one has been added to the church. There was only little Robert, who said that he had given himself over to God. But he is so small, he doesn’t count!” Now that “little Robert”, whose conversion seemed so insignificant, was Robert Moffat, who later became one of the first missionaries in South Africa, where he worked until 1870. He even translated the Bible into a native language.

We are often too ready to judge people’s importance by their appearance. It is not so with God. “There is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:11). Making distinctions between persons, judging their importance or estimating their worth according to our own criteria is sin (cf. James 2:9). It amounts to defying the will of God, who gave us the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. When He was on this earth, the Lord Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it” (Luke 18:16.17). It was the weakness, the simplicity and the confidence of a little child that the Lord Jesus was drawing attention to here. Becoming morally like a small child is the necessary condition and way to approach God.

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