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William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

From earliest times, opportunities and tremendous blessings from the Creator were underscored for those prepared to receive them. Recipients’ key requisites most often were education and faith in His word and works. It remains that way! Think with me a moment.
Antediluvian world folks, far afield from the primitive state imagined by modern man, show excellence in education. Adam must have been created with the equivalent of a Ph.D. since he gave names to everything in creation, Gen. 2:19. Jabal excelled in animal husbandry; Jubal in music, especially in harp and organ; Tubalcain was a master artificer in brass and iron; Nimrod built a city: on and on it goes. Then God called upon Noah to build an ark to the saving of air-breathing life. It was approximately 450 by 45 by 30 in foot dimensions. Now just what dumb-bunny was able to do that? Noah was a righteous man, but he was also an educated man and prepared for the job.
Looking at other instances, Moses stands out as exemplary of educational readiness. He had the best Egypt could provide plus 40 years of personally examining the terrain of Sinai. David was a mighty warrior, but also a master of strategy, faith, and music. Notice also that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were specially selected by King Nebuchadnezzar, not because he knew them, but because they fit his criteria of service, to wit: “. . . no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had an ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” Daniel 1:4. They were ready for both spiritual and material education to seize upon opportunities to serve both God and man.
Finally, in the important initial evangelism of the first century world, God chose Saul of Tarsus, a Hebrew of Hebrews, more zealous in his faith that all his brethren, and who could not only evangelize with the New Testament doctrines after God got through teaching him, but who could by his excellent education in the tradition of his fathers persuade thousands of Jews and Gentiles alike to embrace New Testament faith. Men should excel in something, faith notwithstanding and underscored, and then use that excellence to help others as God provides opportunities which He most certainly will do.
Through brick and mortar institutions, and online educational offerings, the present generation has more information and outreach ability than all the past generations had in all their collective forms. Still, the propensity to submit to the lure of inertia manages to hinder both individual and church progress. Perhaps we all would do well to hear God’s still small voice to Elijah saying, “What are you doing here?”

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