The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there (Psalm 87:6) .
R ecently, I again saw Dr. E. C. Sheehan. Dr. Sheehan is the last living founding member
of Baptist International Missions. He was also one of the founders of the Congo Gospel
Mission—the forerunner of Baptist International Missions, Inc. I heard Dr. Sheehan speak
at a special occasion in Byron, Georgia. He stood, at 95 years of age, as straight as an arrow and
spoke with complete clarity. Just that morning, he had risen early and walked a mile in 23° weather.
He was a man used of God along with Dr. Lee Roberson and others in the founding of BIMI. I was
reminded again that God uses men in building His Kingdom.
When the great men of an era exist no more and no one follows in their wake
to take up the mantle, truth and righteousness
die. The sense of holy presence diminishes and
what once seemed to be a holy place becomes
just a place and symbol of what has been. How
many churches and schools have we seen in our day from
which the “glory has departed” because there are no men whom
God can bless?
E.C. Sheehan with James Ray
God does not bless places—God blesses men and women. It
was not London that God blessed but Charles Spurgeon and
Joseph Parker and Martin Lloyd Jones. It was not Leicester
that God blessed but F. B. Meyer. It was not Dundee that
God blessed but Robert Murray M'Cheyne. It was not India
that God blessed but William Carey, Amy Carmichael and
Places are incidental. Bethel was special because God did business with Jacob there. What made
Jerusalem so special? Certainly not the brick and mortar and stone and rubble. Jerusalem was
special because DAVID ruled there and God's great people worshipped there and JESUS died there.
Without these lives the city would be only “another city.” Even Mount Sinai gained its significance
only because the God of Heaven met Moses there and gave the Ten Commandments—otherwise,
it would have been just another rugged piece of geography.
Take the famous little village of Bethlehem. Realistically, some in modern times might call it a “hick
town.” There never has been a lot going in Bethlehem. However, God changed everything when He
fulfilled prophecy about a Person who would be born there.
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of
Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel;
whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Think of the kings following the star to Bethlehem. Think of the parade of dignitaries, the horses,
camels and mules draped in silk and laden with treasures. There would have been numerous
servants accompanying the delegation. When this delegation descended on Bethlehem in full
2 BIMI WORLD – Number 1, 2010