Watermelons and Other Good Stuff

by Michael E. Brooks

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“We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic” (Numbers 11:5, NKJV).

My wife loves watermelon. This spring in Bangladesh she started asking the cook staff at Khulna Bible College “Did you see any watermelons at the market today?” at least a month early. When they finally started to show up she made sure some were brought to campus very quickly. Once she was certain that good quality melons were readily available, she arranged for a supply large enough to feed everyone there, staff, faculty, students, children – everybody. Not surprisingly, all were very happy to receive their share of the treat.

Watermelons are a rather special, almost unique, item. There is much good, and very little negative which one may say about them. Almost everyone likes the taste, and even those of us to whom they are not particularly special, can eat and enjoy them a little bit, occasionally.

There is nothing harmful about melons, at least to my knowledge. I cannot imagine anyone eating enough of them to do any real harm. People of every age, race, nationality and social class enjoy their flavor. They seem to be available almost everywhere, and though they may be somewhat expensive, their large size makes them a relative bargain in almost any economy. Additionally, with their smooth green skin, red interior and dark seeds, they are very pretty. What is not to like?

Perhaps we need more watermelons in all aspects of life. Not the big fruits, of course, but rather people, institutions, philosophies and activities which share these qualities. They are not the sweetest food on the menu, nor the richest, nor most filling, nor the one with the strongest taste. But they are pleasant, healthy, and satisfying.The Bible describes some people like that.

I think of Andrew, for example. He was not the largest or most flamboyant of the Apostles. He was not the most impulsive, nor the best speaker, nor the one with the most dominant personality. He was not the closest personally to Jesus. Yet he brought others to faith in Christ (John 1:35-42), and it was Andrew who located the five loaves and two fish with which Jesus fed thousands (John 6:8-10). Andrew did good, not harm. He caused no conflicts. We need more Andrews.

Another person with a “watermelon” character was Tabitha, also called Dorcas (Acts 9:36-42) whom Peter raised from the dead at Joppa. Tabitha was known and loved for her good works by which she helped others. Tabitha was not an apostle, a missionary or a fiery evangelist. She did not serve the church as an elder, and there is no record of her speaking in prophesy or possessing miraculous gifts. She simply did good. When she died, she was greatly missed and longed for. We need more Tabithas.

The Bible teaches that all have received gifts, and therefore have the ability to glorify God by helping others (Ephesians 4:11-16; Romans 12:3-8). We are all capable of doing good. Let us resolve to be known for the good we do, the pleasure we bring, and the harmlessness of our nature. Let us be like watermelons.

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