September 4, 2016
- Drop (Dictionary): The quantity of fluid that falls in one spherical mass a dose of medicine measured by drops (i.e. eye drops for dilating the pupil of the eye),minute quantity or degree of something non material or intangible; a small quantity of drink; the smallest practical unit of liquid measure.
- Drop (Bible): To drip, drop; rain; droplets; nod in sleep, drowsy, slumber.
Isaiah 40:12-15: ”12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand? Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure or weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in the scales? 13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or who gave Him His counsel 14 Who did He consult with? Who gave Him understanding and taught Him the paths of justice? Who taught Him knowledge and showed Him the way of understanding? 15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are considered as a speck of dust in the scales; He lifts up the islands like fine dust.” (HCSB)
Isaiah is told to call out the greatness of God to encourage God’s people. In the midst of Isaiah’s exhortation, we learn that the nations of the earth are as a “drop in the bucket” and seen as a “speck of dust” compared to God’s greatness!
We have all heard the “bucket” expression and at times heard it as a “drop in the ocean.” It is an old phrase. We could take a minute to examine this picture of Isaiah’s bucket or pail and see its use in another metaphor.
If we took a 5-gallon pail where we can use an eye dropper to introduce water one drop at a time we could count the drops. What we would find is the total number of drops would be 90,840 drops- or thereabouts. I wonder what would it take to fill all the oceans in the world with an eye dropper? One scientist has estimated the total volume of all earth’s oceans at 1400 million cubic kilometers! You do the math-my slide rule doesn’t go that high!
But one thing we learn quickly is that God cannot be described or reduced to some number or to some finite thought! God is incomparable and it is absurd to try and reduce the imagination of God to our vastly limited dimensions and minds! (n.b.Just as a side note, our scientist people estimate that the total number of stars is 300 sextillion stars or 100 billion times 3 trillion. That is the number 3 followed by 23 zeros!) Wow! Once again the numbers are impressive, but cannot begin to describe God’s greatness!
When we ponder the use of a bucket, the volume of the oceans and the vastness of outer space, we find our God has everything under control. He is intimately involved with all parts of His creation- even down to individual atoms and molecules! Numbers are interesting but our attempts to describe our God are in reality the finite trying to describe the infinite! We find if we want to truly experience God, we must learn from His Son Jesus and the things said and done by Him.
Luke 21:1-4: 21 While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box.2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.3 “I tell you the truth, “Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them.4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (NLT)
Jesus could have told them how much was placed in the treasury but instead focused on two small coins. So we see it is not so much about large numbers as it is about large hearts!
Jesus also brought forth a new parable which dealt with the heart and how God expects us to respond to people’s needs and hurts:
Luke 10:30-37: 30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road 31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ 36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” (NLT)
It is interesting that the woman gave two small copper coins and the Good Samaritan required two silver coins. Both were adequate and available to be used. If we consider God’s kingdom as a metaphor of a bucket or ocean, then the very actions of grace by the woman and the Samaritan could be seen as bringing praise and glory into Gods kingdom.
Jesus has given us forgiveness and brought us into a place of grace. We now can live a life of actions that bring praise to God and be part of-metaphorically speaking- a drop in God’s bucket! Every drop of mercy and kindness dropped into His kingdom is important to the Lord and will be counted!
Romans 5:1-2: ” 5Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” (NLT)