Jesus has called His followers to a simple life of humble servitude. In a religious world where people too often strive for position, recognition, and power, consider the story told by a king of ancient Jerusalem about a poor wise man:
“There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools” Ecclesiastes 9:14-17.
Oh, that there were more “poor wise men” among us. The victories to our battles and the solutions to our problems come not by the loudest voice nor by the man with the most name recognition. Wisdom is often found in the quiet quarters of the faithful. While often neglected and despised, the poor wise man’s words brought deliverance to the city. He was not heralded as a hero, no accolades were bestowed, no parties or celebrations were given in his honor, no plaques were posted nor statues erected to remember the one who saved the city. The people in the city, so close to having been destroyed, went on with life; and the poor wise man was forgotten.
Very often, the work of God in congregations moves forward in victory on the backs of a poor wise man or woman. Their work is not glamorous and there is no fanfare. They are hardly acknowledged or recognized for their service, wisdom, and faithfulness; but without them, the city would be lost. The poor wise man was not in the limelight, and yet in his poverty he willingly offered his wisdom when the time was right. May every child of God be challenged to seek not for fame or power but to seek in his poverty to please the Master, with quiet wisdom and strength serving the people.
To the poor wise men and women among us, thank you for your love, grace, wisdom, and service. We love and appreciate you. God bless! ■