The Little Sabbath-Keeping Red Hen
Study No. 79
The little Sabbath-keeping red hen found a kernel of Bible understanding. She was very excited about this knowledge and went to her fellow believers to tell them.
"Who will accept this truth?" she asked. "Not I," said the pig, "it would require too much sacrifice." "Not I," said the horse, "it would make me the laughingstock of all my friends." "Not I," said the cow, "our leading minister hasnít accepted this teaching and I'd be put out of the church for heresy."
The Little Red Hen was sorry at the reaction of her friends. "I will accept this Bible truth," she said. And she did.
The little Sabbath-keeping red hen wanted to share this and other Bible truths with others. "Who will share the good news with the unconverted?" she asked. "Not I," said the pig, "I pay tithes so the ministers can preach the gospel. You and I are not ministers, so we have no responsibility or authority to preach. Our job is to pay and pray." "Not I," said the horse, "there will be controversy and trouble with some that oppose the Truth. We could get ourselves killed." "Not I," said the cow, "I'm embarrassed to talk to others about religion. They might think we are crazy."
Undaunted at the reaction of her friends, the Little Red Hen replied, "Then I will share the good news with the unconverted." And she did.
A few people responded, which made the Little Red Hen very happy in spite of the fact that her friends didnít seem to care. "Who will help these little ones grow in the Truth and mature in the Faith?" she asked.
Again the response was the same. "Not I," said the pig, "I donít want to get involved with weak peopleís problems." "Not I," said the horse, "they might bring up some weird ideas." "Not I," said the cow, "they've had their chance; why didnít they respond years ago?"
"Well," said the little Sabbath-keeping red hen, "I'm going to help them along. I'm glad someone spent the time with me when I was new in the faith." And she did.
Times got very difficult. There were food shortages, religious persecution, wars, disease epidemics and frightening earthquakes, floods and storms. "Who will help the widows, orphans and poor?" the Little Red Hen asked. "Who will visit those unjustly put in prison, and who will comfort the sick?"
"Not I," said the pig, "I'm too poor to help others, and besides, I pay my taxes to finance government welfare programs. Let the government help them." "Not I," said the horse, "you canít trust anybody. I canít find anyone worthy of helping. There are only undeserving welfare cheats." "Not I," said the cow, "Iíll give to the Church and let them help the poor. I know they give no accounting for the poor fund. But thatís their responsibility."
"Then I will help the widows, orphans and poor. I will visit the sick and unjustly imprisoned and persecuted," the Little Red Hen said with a tear in her eye. And she did.
The little Sabbath-keeping red henís lifestyle was not pleasing to the totalitarian government that recently took over her country. Her friends, the pig, horse and cow, didnít see anything wrong with taking a "harmless" little mark on their hands and foreheads. "Unless we take the mark, we canít buy and sell," they explained, "our families would starve, and God holds us responsible to provide for our families. Little Red Hen, you are too stubborn and Pharisaical!" Nevertheless, the Little Red Hen obstinately refused to submit to the totalitarian state.
Finally, the Little Red Hen was captured and given the ultimate choice: accept the mark and live; reject the mark and die. "You know my answer: I will serve the Almighty no matter what!" she shouted courageously. As she was marched to the guillotine, she cried out, "Who will deliver me?" A voice from Heaven suddenly boomed out: "I am your Heavenly Father! I will deliver you!" And He did.
Then, the conquering Messiah asked a question. "Who will enter into eternal life?" "I will!" chorused the pig, horse and cow. "NO!" the King of Kings said sternly. "You did not accept additional Bible truths. You did nothing to share the Bible truth you had with others. And you did not care for and love the brethren, and refused to help the poor and needy. You loved your life more than me. Youíve had your life. Now itís at an end!"
"Come, Little Red Hen," the Savior smiled, "you did all these things. Come, enjoy the blessings of my kingdom." "But Iím not worthy," the Little Red Hen blushed, "I didnít do enough. Thank you for having mercy unto such a little one as me! Yes, I will come." And she did.
Summary and Conclusion
The tale of the Little Red Hen is a childrenís story that continues to make a great impression on me. It has a vital spiritual lesson. In the original story, the hen finds a grain of wheat, plants, cultivates, harvests the wheat, grinds it into flour and bakes bread. Her friends wonít do any work along the way. But they certainly want the results of the Little Red Henís labor, the end product, the bread.
I have adapted this story because I feel there are many professing believers who wonít do anything, but want the end product, eternal life. Salvation is a gift, but it is not a gift given to the do-nothing lazy person. The profession (job) to which we have been called is not always "fun." It is work, hard work.
Even the true Sabbath is a day of work! Spiritual, not physical work. What better day than the Sabbath to perform works of righteousness such as those the Little Red Hen did. And yet some often turn the Sabbath into a lazy day of selfish rest for themselves.
Getting up out of bed early in the morning to pray and study, fasting to seek the Almightyís will, overcoming personal sins and faults, helping spread the good news to others, working with and serving others: this is what every true believer is called to do, continually. Our walk with the Maker is not always, as they say, "a bed of roses." There is much work to do.
Will we be like the pig, horse or cow? Or will we be like the Little Red Hen?
"Who will be a Little Red Hen?"
How about you? W
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