Summary: It was a very small minority which saved the Hebrew nation...it's prophets, like Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah. It was its singers in the Psalms, it was the group of the righteous who looked for the redemption of Israel. Their faith in God was the
A CREATIVE MINORITY
There was a biologist who once did an experiment with "processional caterpillars." On the rim of a clay pot that held a plant, he lined them up so that the leader was head to head with the last caterpillar. The tiny creatures circled the rim of the pot for a full week. Not once did any of them break away to go over to the plant and eat.
Eventually, all the caterpillars died from exhaustion and starvation. The story of the processional caterpillars is a kind of parable of human behavior. People are reluctant to break away from the familiar rhythm of daily life. They don't want to be different. But we must break away from the crowd if we are ever to accept Jesus' invitation to be our source of strength and nourishment.
If just one of the caterpillars had broken away and begun to eat of the plant, the whole group might have been saved. But such is the course of mankind...we often follow the crowd to destruction. The Bible has much to say about the small minority who can and often does break away from the crowd and make an eternal difference. It also speaks of times when they failed to separate themselves and paid a heavy price.
Once such story of minority influence is found in the book of Genesis 18. This story of Abraham takes us into a world that is strange to our ways of thinking. It's the story of a righteous man bargaining with God. In the story, the city of Sodom was to be destroyed by an angry God. But Abraham, with a heart of compassion, doesn't want it destroyed.
The mind of Abraham, as we see it here, expresses a growing understanding of the nature of God. Abraham asks the penetrating theological question, "Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" Obviously he concludes that God will indeed do what is right, so Abraham starts to bargain with God.
"How many good men would be needed to save the city? Would 50 do it? Yes. Then he drops down..."How about 45? 40? 30? 20? Then at last he says, "Don't get angry, but suppose there were only 10 good men found in Sodom...would 10 be enough? Abraham wins. He wins the answer from God who says, "I won't destroy it for the sake of 10 men."
Think about that for a moment. Out of all the people in those twin cities literally thousands of them just ten men would have saved them. That's a clear picture of the timeless and timely truth that the saving force in the world is a minority force.
We know from Scripture that just a little yeast, or leaven, can affect the whole batch of dough...or that one rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch. But the reverse is also just as true...a small minority, a remnant, can make a positive, eternal difference in the lives of people and even in the world.
Today we are in a world that is just a heart beat away from the same fate as Sodom. The similarities are horribly obvious. If it's to be saved at all, it will be saved by a comparatively few.
Just as in ages past, the hope of a secure and livable world lies in a minority of disciplined and dedicated people who aren't set on keeping up the status quo...and not set on keeping the sanctified stupidities or traditions of the past. Our hope is for a minority who will stand on biblical truth and provide an atmosphere where God can bring about His redemptive purposes.
There are three things that can be said with complete confidence. First...there has to be a deepening and widening of our sense of responsibility. We're masters in the art of delegating. We delegate the responsibility for everything difficult or uncomfortable or demanding to others who simply can't carry out those responsibilities for us.
"Let the Sunday School teachers teach our kids about God...that's their job, isn't it?" Let the preacher go out and do the spiritual stuff, that's what he gets paid for, isn't it? Let him do the praying...the witnessing...the hospital visitations..."That's not my job!"
Let the choir do the singing...let those better off do the tithing...let those who need it more than me, or those who have more free time than me come to the Bible studies and the meetings and the get togethers.
I think maybe it's the proper time for me to invite you all to a funeral. It's one that needs to be held as soon as possible...it's one that is long overdue. One of the prominent figures of history has died...one who was very prominent even right here at Goodridge...it's the "innocent bystander." He is gone forever. No one is an innocent bystander.