Book of the Month • November

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Cameos That Counted:

Influential Characters Rarely Mentioned in the Bible

by Sandy Higgins


There are men and women who grace the pages of Scriptures who have become virtual household names to all believers, names such as Peter, Paul, James, Abraham, David, and Samuel. Their lives are portrayed over many chapters of Scripture. Some we can trace from birth through to old age. Others are presented at varied segments of their lives as they move on to the stage of Sacred history to perform their God-given function in His great story of redemption.

But there are also individuals who make cameo appearances and others whose biographies are given in a few short glimpses. Yet these are not less important in the divine story as it unfolds through the ages. Though Scripture may use an economy of words to tell of their lives, the results of their actions have been eternally inscribed in the Word of God which shall “never pass away.” Cameo appearances have, at times, had copious consequences. Thus, their contributions will live on eternally for all to appreciate and from which we can all profit in the present time. Names such as Hushai, Dorcas, Barzillai, Jonathan, Simeon, and Anna reveal lives which were useful and honouring to God, even though summarised in a few verses of Holy writ.

All of this should also serve, not only as instruction for us, but also as encouragement. None of us is a David or Peter, few of us, if any, will ever know the experiences of the great heroes of the faith. None of this is a reason to feel that the contribution that you make to the work of God is insignificant. We are all minor players in the great drama of redemption. But we can thank God that we are part of His great work in this age. And, just as these seemingly lesser lights contributed in their day to the work of God, so we can as well in the day in which God has placed us.

We are Sunday School teachers, personal workers, shepherds, and servants. Some of you are among the caring who bring a dinner to a shut-in, bake a cake for a neighbour recently bereaved, or open your home to someone needing a shoulder upon which to cry, or an ear
open to allow someone to unburden herself. None of this makes the magazines as news; no public commendation or recognition hails your act of kindness. But nothing is unnoticed by the eye that sees the falling sparrow that no other eye tracks.

Think of the loss to David if there had been no Hushai; of what we would be deprived of if we did not have the songs of Elisabeth, Zacharias, and Simeon. Who can measure the comfort that Onesiphorus was to Paul or the impact of the “fervent prayer” of Epaphroditus for the believers in Colosse?

As you read Sandy Higgin's brief notes on the lives of these believers, you will be encouraged in your own devotion and service to the Lord. Yes, we are all minor players, but what a drama in which we are privileged to participate! “Your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor 15:58).

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