Good as Dead
Hebrews 11 is probably my favorite chapter in all of Scripture. (If you haven’t done it already, do yourself a solid and go listen to the whole book read by Odd Thomas). This chapter is a Hall of Fame for people who chose faith in God over what they could see in front of them.
Verse 12 slapped me in the face today. “…from one man [Abraham], and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven…”Romans 4:19 also helps shed a little more light on this: Abraham was “as good as dead” when it came to reproducing, because he was about 100 years old. Not too spry by that point, we can assume! And so the promise that he would have so many descendants was laughable.
He made not just a son, not just a family, not just a clan, but a nation of millions come from a guy who had all the reproductive capability of a corpse.
Japan has been called “the missionary graveyard.” We’ve talked about this before in our posts. You see it in the book/movie Silence. The missionaries might not die, but the mission does. “Japan is a swamp,” we are told. Nothing that isn’t native to the swamp can ultimately grow and flourish there because the roots rot. There has never been an established movement of Christianity in Japan. The number of missionaries to Japan in recent years has dropped by 30%; many missions organizations have simply packed up and left.
Maybe it’s true that when it comes to Christianity, Japan has all the reproductive capability of a corpse. Maybe it's true that farming in the swamp is a ridiculous waste of time and dollars.
That’s fine. We’ll go anyway. We follow a God who can raise the dead.