Four Fingers and a Thumb

According to an African fable, four fingers and a thumb lived together on a hand. They were inseparable friends. One day, they noticed a gold ring lying next to them and conspired to take it. The thumb said it would be wrong to steal the ring, but the four fingers called him a self-righteous coward and refused to be his friend. That was fine with the thumb. He wanted nothing to do with their mischief. This is why, the legend goes, the thumb still stands separate from the other fingers.

Standing alone has its advantages and disadvantages. Noah lived in a day when the earth was filled with violence every day. Every thought in every heart was “evil continually” (Genesis 6:5,11). The greatest blessing for Noah was “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (v. 8). Fully devoted to God, Noah obeyed him and built the ark. The Lord spared him and his family from drowning in the flood, because Noah sought the grace of God.

Vashti and Esther were both blessed as the queen of Persia. Vashti would not allow herself to be paraded before a bunch of drunken men. She did not compromise her purity and morality and was put away as the queen (Esther 1:19-2:4). Esther was faithful to righteousness and justice and stood before the king as the only one who could stop the injustice of Haman (Esther 4). She risked her position and life to stand before the king in order to save the Jews. Regardless of the risks, consequences, and being the only one, neither of these women leg go of what was right.

When wanting acceptance, many will forget their faith and their dignity. They take the easy and conforming to their own selfish destruction. No one, not even Jesus, said it was easy to stand alone. The advantage is honor and glory in the name of God, who gives us courage to stand. Therefore, let us stand and do all to stand (Ephesians 6:10-14), even if we stick out like a “sore thumb.”