In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
The Old Testament is full of examples of men and women whose lives had a significant impact on others. Many books could be written of their faith and trust in God. Hollywood has even immortalised some in celluloid such as Noah, Moses and Daniel. Here are a few more.
One memorable night, God drew Abraham out of the confines of his tent. Perhaps he had been relaxing at the end of a hard day when he felt that gentle, but definite tug from God to get up and go outside. As he stepped out into the dark of a Middle Eastern night, where the was no light pollution to dim the brightness of the sky above, God spoke to Him and said,
"Now look to the heavens and count the stars, if you are able.” Then He told him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and it was credited to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:5,6)
That’s some impact!
Jacob’s son Joseph, through his steadfast faithfulness to God in times of adversity, became the unwitting saviour of hundreds of thousands of lives when he interpreted Pharoah’s dreams that warned of an impending famine of seven years. The impact that his life had on a population that would have starved to death without his intervention, just can’t be imagined.
God placed a young woman called Esther in the royal palace of Susa, Persia, for a purpose—to save her fellow Jews from annihilation. However, it required her to put her own life in jeopardy. Esther courageously agreed to intercede with the King for her people, knowing that the death penalty awaited anyone who entered his presence uninvited. Her famous words “If I perish, I perish,” (Esther 4:16) was Esther’s statement of faith and trust in God. Queen Esther’s impact is still celebrated all over the Jewish the world each year in the festival of Purim.
Sadly, not all were as faithful as those already mentioned. One man, whose life had potential to impact others was Lot. That was never realised for him.
Like his Uncle Abraham, Lot also lived his life by faith and we read that he was
“a righteous man distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless.” (2 Peter 2:7)
However, even though he knew the work of God, he chose a very different path that led to his downfall. “Lot's association with the world wore down his spirituality and resistance... He did not know what he wanted and lingered in the city just before it was to be destroyed. There is no surer way to go backward in one's spirituality, to blunt one's feelings and knowledge of sin, to dull spiritual discernment, than by mingling with the world.” John W Ritenbaugh
Sadly, after escaping Sodom fleeing to the hills and fathering two children with his daughters, Lot’s life falls silent and his light never shone before men. There was no discernible lasting impact from his life. He was ‘the man of no impact’.
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