Jacobus deVilliers - Second Convention, Williams, Western Australia - November 2005

Hymn 251

After our Conventions in Holland, I was with somebody else’s companion and we had a list of halls but I didn’t know which one to choose so we started phoning. We didn’t succeed directly but found a hall in an unknown town so we got our invitation cards done and we went there to hand them out. We discovered this was a special feast year for that town to celebrate their 900th year of existence. They were having a feast and they decorated the town. They were encouraged to make towers remembering the past so they had to make replicas, models of towers that used to be there in the past. All over this city they had these little towers and apparently streets worked together so in each street there was a tower. Sometimes 2 were connected to each other. Perhaps the Dutch people want to know which town this is: it’s called Diepenheim – and there were towers, beautifully done. Some were deliberately done of old wood and one could go in and in there they would have things of bygone years: old books, something of the history of the town, how it grew, what happened in it, photographs. In each little tower there was something to look at.

Perhaps I spent too much time to just look and see what was there but, as I walked through, I thought of what we read in Psalm 48 which speaks about Zion Verses 12-14, “Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” The encouragement to walk around Zion: to look and count those towers. I noticed those people were very proud of their city, proud that they could call themselves a citizen of that little town so that they weren’t very much interested in our meetings.

The 1st meeting a few came and the 2nd and 3rd there was nobody and I don’t know what has happened since, but they were proud of that little city and its past history. But here the Psalmist encourages the people of that time to have a look at Zion: to walk round about it, count it’s towers and see the development and I am sure it must have been quite a city. It was beautiful for situation: it was a pearl of a city. Everything was done to make it safe for the inhabitants and they had all those walls and towers. Even though that city was 900 years old they had a lot of time, and I’m sure it was like that for Zion too. Perhaps some king tried to get into the city at a weak point. When things got better they had to strengthen it: something had to be done that it was better protected. And now they were saying, “Walk around Zion. See what has been done to it.” And the king that would now attempt to get into the city would think twice when he sees all the things they had done – all the protection, and those towers. They would see them coming from far and he would think more than twice, it was well protected.

Somewhere in the Bible we read about another city, the New Jerusalem. We heard today Abraham lived in tents; he would one day reach that city for which God was the designer and builder thereof. The great God is a builder and he’s going to build this city, a future dwelling place for his people. It tells about that city, it will be wonderfully made. It will be like a bride prepared for her husband: clothed in the very best, as beautiful as possible and as beautiful as only God could make it – a future wedding place for God’s people. The first tower that we read of in the Bible – but before I thought of God being the builder – We live here on earth in the universe made by Him. He was the builder of it all and He was the one who built the first human being.

He made Adam out of the dust of the earth. He made use of material; the very smallest particle we could think of – dust! He took that and made use of the dust. The word ‘dust’ was used because one didn’t know of anything smaller than that: dust – such a tiny, little stone. And God built a human being. Somebody made a study of dust and it was interesting to read. They said they could see all these little bits of dust floating when you see the sun filtering through the room, and you see some of those little bits of dust, so small, so light that they would never settle. God created: he was the designer and builder of the universe, everything that we can see.

I thought of the first building that man erected in Genesis 11. The people had one language and were moving from one place to another and they decided they had to come to a stop. “They found a plain in the land of Shinar and they dwelt there. And they said, 'Let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone and slime had they for mortar. Let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” They decided to build a tower; it was in man.

God said, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” That’s what God had in mind: He was going to build a being and it would be very much like Himself. This was in God and He was a builder and now He created and built a human being and said, “He is going to be like me.” And this is in man – man wants to build. Give a little child a few blocks and they start putting them one on top of each other; they are encouraged to do so. It’s in man and he wants to build.

Here, they decided, “We are going to build something which is going to make us great: a tower that must be tremendous and so great that it must reach heaven." They wanted to do this and spoke to one another about it. One had this idea and the other had another idea. They could speak to one another because they had the same language: they understood each other. I thought of those ideas and because they had the same language he could express his idea and pass it on to somebody else. Their idea was like this building block and through language they could start building and as long as they understood each other they had numerous ideas. So they started building and it started growing and God said, “Let’s go down.” God knew they were doing this because of what He had put in them – they wanted to build also. They wanted to do something great and He knew they weren’t going to succeed in what they had in mind. This wasn’t the way, so He took their mortar away and He took their language away. They couldn’t continue: they couldn’t get through to their neighbour. God knew that they would aim too high.

Man is inclined to be big. Man says, “Let us have a name: let us become important." Man wants to be big. I thought of God and the building that He hated. I once read a little book that was written by some scientist: written in plain language so an ordinary person could read it, and the title was “Great and Small.” He tried to tell something about the greatness of the bodies of the universe and scientists are trying to get to know more and more about these new heavenly bodies that are so great, the stars that are so big. Science also tries to go deeper into what does everything exist of; go into the smallest particle that exists. Already they know about atoms and other similar particles and I don’t know their names. But the writer tried to explain how small the particles were and said, “Those were the building blocks of the universe.” They are trying to discover everything.

This is how God works: we heard this morning of those little drops of water – each to be added. It has a purpose and God as the master builder, started with that which is so very small. And by doing that he could build things that are so immensely great. I thought of Job, where God did something. He gave Satan the opportunity, “You try and break down what I have built up. You try and get Job to give up his faith in Me.” Well he tried his best and he did as much as he could to get Job to curse God, but Job never disappointed God. He and his friends spoke about everything that happened and tried to explain why themselves. They had explanations how it really was but eventually God spoke and said, “Gird up thy loins as a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me. Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, it thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Do you understand the way God built everything? And God had to speak to them all, even to Job, “Don’t think that you understand things.” It goes far beyond our understanding the way God has created the heavens, far more complicated than scientists may think or explain.

There’s another verse, “Except the Lord build the house: except the Lord build the city they labour in vain.” Except we work the way in which we work; we are His creation. There’s something of Him that’s put in to us that makes us want to build but we must build in the way He did it and make use of that which is small. We must not begin half way. It would be impossible to produce anything unless we can work like God works, starting with that which is so small. What is it that God can have pleasure in? What can I do? What can we do to add to this building for eternity? - this building of Jerusalem, this future dwelling place? What can we do? What can we add? What are these stones that we can make use of? I thought of Solomon, the wisest person that ever lived – tried to think of these things and what’s the best way to do in the short life that he has. He said, “To keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” The smallest thought that can arise deep in our heart, God sees that. God knows about that and He can make use of that if it is right and in the right direction. A little thought so small that nobody would know about it. He knows what’s in your heart and He sees what you desire, how we think about life. He sees all that and knows about the inward soul.

One Psalmist said when he thought about himself, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” He realised it was so wonderful how God created mankind. So in this heart we have these thoughts and God knows about them. If those thoughts could be directed keep them on that which pleases God; it could be used somewhere. It could make part of the New Jerusalem, that eternal future – something so small – just a thought in my heart. Solomon also said about his heart, “The heavens were high and the heart of the king is unsearchable.” Nobody knows, but God knows and sees it. It’s a building block and it’s good for us to keep our hearts with all diligence. Make sure what we allow there to germinate: make sure it has God’s ‘well done.’ If it gives us rest and peace, it’s a building block He can use.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he said, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, lovely, are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Building blocks! Blocks that we could think about: it has an effect if we can get them in our hearts. It can help to build something up in us; prepare us to do something a little bigger later on if we could prepare our thoughts. Centre on that which is good and right, pure in God’s sight.

I thought of Nathaniel when he met with Jesus – “In whom was no guile.” He was surprised when he heard that and asked the Lord, “From where do You know me?” The Lord Jesus knew this is a man; there’s something in him very small. Nobody else knew about him but the Lord knew, “He’s honest, true, just, there’s no guile in him.” Building stones were seen in his heart and the Lord said, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree. I know where you have been – under the fig tree.” Notice was taken and mention was made: our secret efforts to pray. While we are here together many prayers would rise up in this tent but those in the secret place He knows about them; little stones put together.

I thought, when they built that tower, their ideas were building stones and their language was the mortar. But in which building? There’s mortar in having God’s spirit with us, amongst us that brings us together. This spirit – little building stones are joined together because of having the same spirit. God wants us to be doing it this way: something different to the tower of Babel. It starts with something that’s small. Every little word that’s spoken – not just the words here from the platform but from the testimonies. Nothing is too small, nothing so important that God can’t make use of it. He would guide it and make it a part of this building that can be erected and will be eventually seen; that the little things we do in this life will eventually find its place. In building this wonderful universe God was so careful in how he did it but this is something that will come to an end. But this building, this new heaven, this new earth, New Jerusalem, this future dwelling place, this spiritual building: would God be less careful in building that? If He made use of such small building blocks, He is going to be more careful when He’s building that: nothing too small. He guides us and makes use of it, He’s building this beautiful city and He offers unto us the very best. If I make a mistake God guides it. The smallest things that happen in our lives may have a purpose. God is making use of that which is small: He doesn’t expect great things but expects us to be diligent in the small things and work at what ever we can. He will say to some, “Go into that which I have prepared for you for when I was hungry you fed Me." "Lord, when did we feed You?” They couldn’t even remember, and He said, “As much as was done in the least of My brethren.” Yes, building blocks – done in all sincerity.