Proverbs 20: 11 (KJV) Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
Genesis 36: 24 (KJV) And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.
When you think of these names, these people who are mentioned in the Bible, what do you think about?
Here is what I think about: Joseph was known for his integrity. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. David was known for victory and sin: killing Goliath and adultery with Bathsheba. Jonah had a great track record as a prophet until he ran from God and ended up inside a whale. Mary was favored of God and given the task of being the virgin mother of the Son of God. Peter was known for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, even denying the Lord three times, but then having his faith strengthened so much he preached to thousands on the day of Pentecost. Paul was the Apostle who wrote most of the New Testament.
But have you ever heard these names?
- Enoch (Gen 5: 22-24) – He had such an amazing walk with God that God moved him straight from earth to Heaven, skipping physical death.
- Anah (Gen 36:24) – He found mules in the wilderness.
- Er (Gen 38:7) – He was Judah’s firstborn, and he was so wicked God Himself killed him.
- Hezekiah (Is. 38: 1-8) – He prayed, and God gave him the sign of moving time backwards.
- Rhoda (Acts 12:13) – She shut the door in Peter’s face because the people inside her house were praying for Peter to be released from prison.
And here are some people who have great stories, but they remain unnamed in the Word of God:
- The Shunamite woman (2 Kings 4)
- The lad with the lunch (John 6)
- Naaman’s servant girl (2 Kings 5)
God thought it was important to mention each of these people in the Bible, whether they were an example of godliness or wickedness. They prove that no life is ignored or forgotten by God. Remember the woman with the alabaster box? In Matthew 26: 7-13, she poured her expensive ointment all on Jesus’ feet. When the disciples murmured about it, Jesus said she would be mentioned everywhere the Gospel is preached. He wanted them to know that nothing is overlooked, no act is unrewarded. As Proverbs says, even a child is known by his doings.
At the beginning of the year, many people make resolutions or decisions that are supposed to impact their lives for the next twelve months. Some people resolve to focus on health, so they start going to the gym and eating better foods. Others resolve to read all of the Bible that year. Still others resolve to give up bad habits like drinking or smoking. They think they can keep their resolutions by their own strength. Soon they get discouraged and quit before January turns into February.
I am not proposing another resolution for this new year, but I do want to challenge you to stop and take a few moments to think about your decisions and actions over the next year. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that any of us could make a life-altering decision at any moment. You could be known for the rest of your life for a decision you are about to make. I could be known for the way that I react to something in the next hour. All Anah did was find mules in the wilderness, but God put that in the Holy Scriptures for the rest of the world to read about.
Look back at last year. What do you think about? What do you think people will remember from your life?
Now look forward to 2023. What do you want to be known for this year?