Posted by: stpowen | April 23, 2011

Treasures on Earth

‘Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and dust destroy….’ (Matt 6:19).

Sometimes present-day events conspire wonderfully to prove the truth of the Bible.



  1. Dear Martin,

    Termites as Eager Gospel Agents

    Again, termites have shown us the futility of hoarding worldly wealth in opposition to using it for the common good. Why do I say ‚again’? Because termites have struck twice before in a similar way in my aquaintanceships. Swedish missionary friends in Africa told me how they were to be fitted out with the latest technology and given a high standard of living as a witness to their heathen neigbours and an answer to prayer. Local building experts erected a large Mission Station for them. As soon as the Swedes moved in, they wanted to move out. Why? There were no floor-boards in the buildings. As good Christians had floorboards and primitive people dirt floors, the Swedes demanded that their home churches should supply them with good timber ‚made in Sweden’ and send it over at great cost. Local builders tried to explain to them that this was a bad idea. But are not prestige and pomp vital to a Christian witness in darkest Africa? The money came and the floor boards were put in and multi-millions of six-legged Africans licked their lips. Within three or four weeks, the floorboards were all inside fat termite tummies. The locals had a good laugh and the missionaries a good cry. ‚My God, my God, hast thou forsaken us?’, became part of their blasphemous litany. So what did they do? Repent of their folly? Oh, no! They gradually recognised a way out of their misery. It had been a trial of their faith. They must not doubt. More floorboards must be sent from Sweden at great costs and the termites must be terminated. Then their faith would triumph and be rewarded! Swedish believers donated their mites again to defy the termites. These insects, well-fed on good solid Swedish floorboards had grown and multiplied and proved immune to all insecticides. The poison poured into the termites’ castles by the missionaries, soon polluted the Africans’ crops growing around them, making them inedible. The Orwell-like cry was raised ‚Six legs fat – Two legs thin’. Within weeks, the missionaries were walking like the more sensible ‚natives’ on good solid earth again.

    The moral of my true tale is that Christ used the insect story to help even the rich find Heaven. However, we Christians are just not prepared to live simply and without idle luxury. We attempt, in pseudo-faith, to go through the eye of the sewing needle whereas we could not squeeze through the eye of the broadest bodkin in the Guiness Book of Records. Were not the Apostles satisfied with one pair of sandals and one coat? Was not this the state of our Lord, too? Happily, our gracious God uses the tiny, weak things of this world to confound the worldly-wise. Thank God for moths and dust – and termites!


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