28. THE IDOLS OF THE HEATHEN
“The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is everyone that trusteth in them.” (Psalms 135:15~18)
On a Sunday afternoon in December 1977, as I was riding the train thru Matsuida, on the train were 2 rambukcous Japanese sisters 6 and 8 years old, loudly horsing around up and down the aisle of the car I was in. When they spotted this Caucasian (me), they became even louder when they ran back to their Mother to tell her of their “find”. They would run back and forth, asking me my name, where I was from and such, and with each answer run back to their Mother to report it. Most of the Japanese people on the train around us were amused and laughing. It was hilarious!
In a few minutes, when the train reached Yokokawa Station, I got off, and was somewhat surprised when those 3 got off also. The man of the house was waiting outside the station in his car to pick up his wife and 2 daughters. Those girls were delighted to “show” me to their father. That family of 4 Japanese Buddhists was out doing various things enjoying Sunday afternoon.
When I told them that I lived in Karuizawa, the girls wanted to go see my house, a 30-minute drive away. So at their invitation, I piled into their car with them and up the curvy mountain pass we went to my house. The nosey girls had to check out every room in my house the 20 minutes or so that they stayed, getting acquainted with me. They insisted that I come visit them at the very end of the year, less than 3 weeks away.
So I did that, and one evening I told them of the birth of the Saviour Jesus Christ. They have a “religious” custom of doing a major house cleaning at the very end of the year, the last 3 or so days of December. One purpose is to clean out old spirits to make room for new spirits to come into their house at the beginning of the new year.
I was there during their house cleaning and helped wash windows and such. (I was not doing that for any religious reason, simply to get the windows clean.) But as they were wiping and dusting every nook and cranny, the 6-year-old girl cleaned the god shelf, removing each idol one by one to wipe off each idol and the shelf. Each of those idols was only about 10 inches high (like small statues).
As the diligent girl picked up each idol, she would say aloud, “I must be careful, this is god.” “I must handle this carefully, this is god.” Oh, how it grieved my heart to hear how deceived she was. Read again, about her lifeless false gods in the Scripture at the start of this story, and think on the following wonderful Truths.
Almighty God in Heaven our Creator takes care of us. We do not have the ability to take care of the True God, nor does He ever need us to take care of Him. “Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob…which are borne by me (the Lord) from the belly, which are carried from the womb: (that means ‘from the time they were born’) And even to your old age, I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:3~4) (Read much more in Isaiah 46 of dead idols compared to the Living True God our Creator.)
Beholding this 6-year-old Japanese girl with her dead idols in 1977 was near the start of my missionary journey in Japan. And seeing this “spiritual darkness” and deception in the typical Japanese family made my heart burn with a desire to let God’s True Light shine unto all the Japanese around me in every possible way that I can, by personal witnessing, giving out Gospel literature, preaching and singing in public, and all possible methods. Please pray for me as I do so.
“Abba Father in Heaven, please be most attentive to my earnest plea right now. Please fill Missionary Richard with Holy Ghost Power to preach Jesus Christ to all the Japanese Buddhists and Shintoists that he possibly can.
“I thank Thee for the much True Light of God from Heaven that has been shined into my heart by numerous adult Christians in my life who have taught me the Holy Scriptures in the Bible and all about my Creator God, Jesus Christ, Who is the Light of the world. O Sweet Lord Jesus, how blessed I am that I am not deceived by the devil and am not walking in darkness.
“I intercede for those 2 Japanese sisters, born about 1969 and 1971. Cause me to think on their ages at this time. Please save each of them to the utmost and all their family members also. If it be Thy Will, Lord Jesus, to send me to a heathen nation of idol worshippers who are terribly deceived and in spiritual darkness, please make me fully willing to go where Thou doest lead, and to let my light shine brightly there in that darkness. Meanwhile, please make me ever so vigilant to brighten the corner right here at home where I am. Amen!”
Richard Yerby (Matsuida, Japan) www.Christ-is-all.us