Tabitha - Includer
Tabitha Acts 9:36-42
Luke writes about a “certain” disciple who followed the Lord.
If we are following Jesus we ought to be “certain” about some things.
1- Certain that Jesus is our Lord. 2- Certain that He loves us. 3- Certain God does not lie. 4- Certain that I am the apple of God’s eye. 5- Certain that God will take care of me.
We live in a crazy world where nothing is certain. These are “uncertain” times. Uncertain economically, politically, globally and in so many other ways.
Luke was certain about Dorcas. She was "full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.”
People often come up with good ideas and good suggestions. I had a lady come to me years ago and told me about so many things that needed to be done at Son Light. I noted that every thing that needed to be done included me doing it. I let her outline the many programs and then said, “Is there anything that needs to be done that somebody can do other than the Pastor?” And then I asked, “Is there anything that you would like to be a part of?” She had good ideas but none of them were things she wanted to do!
Tabitha whose Greek name was Dorcas used her hands to do good works. My grandmother was a modern day Tabitha. She would go to the fabric store, ask for their remnants, then brought them home got on her sewing machine and began making pot holders, pin cushions and other articles she made to give to people.
Long before people brought cloth bags to the supermarket to pick up their groceries my mother was making cloth bags. She was ahead of her times!
She sent box loads to Son Light to be distributed to the people.
On a plane flight home she handed a pot holder to the stewardess. The woman was so touched by my grandmother’s gift she gave her a bottle of wine on her way off the plane.
Tabitha made aprons and dresses and robes for people in need. Nothing earth-shaking, mind you, and she didn’t make front page headlines. She didn’t heal the sick, walk on water, move mountains or cast out demons. She sewed aprons and used her needle and thread as a means to bless widows in need. She ran the first New Testament Thrift shop! :]
Whatever her hands found to do, she did with all her might. That is what we need to do. Don’t look around for something you can do. What do you have in your hands? The thing God can use you for is right under you nose.
There was a man who wanted to help children in hospitals so he came up with an idea. He took cardboard rolls inside paper towels and made kaleidoscopes. Then he passed them out to children in children’s hospitals. It caught on and he went into business making kaleidoscopes.
Tabitha was just an ordinary disciple and did what she could to help. But one never knows the effect their efforts will have.
God uses ordinary people doing ordinary things to produce extra ordinary results.
An 8 year old boy was trapped in a cave. His dog ran back to town barking to neighbors and tugging at their pants. Finally someone followed the dog to a cave out side of town. Digging through the rock pile a boy was rescued. That boy was Abe Lincoln!
Don’t despise the day of small things. A couple struggling through the depression of the 30’s invented a game to pass the time of day while they were unemployed. That game became a best seller - Monopoly.
And then something happened! Verse 37 “But it happened in those days that she became sick and died.” That shouldn’t be a surprise. That is what happens if you live long enough.
There are some who teach that if you work for the Lord He will keep you healthy and happy. Where did that come from? Faith teachers who get sick and have to go to the hospital under an assumed name! They are not supposed to get sick.
Sickness happens. Elisha got sick and died and he was a man of great faith. We can take good care of ourselves, eat fruits and vegetables, get an annual check up but we will still die. Getting sick has nothing to do with our standing with God. Tabitha got sick and died.
They placed Tabitha in a room where people could come and pay their respects. Someone called for Peter to come who was in the area. When Peter arrived he was taken to the upper room where Tabitha was. The people were weeping and showing the garments Dorcas had made them.
Verse 40 “But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. Why did he ask the people to leave? Because if Peter didn’t ask them to leave they would have rushed out of that room when Dorcas, who was dead, sat up and came back to life! Imagine the scene . . . What would you do if you were at a funeral service and the corpse sat up?
vs 41 “Then Peter gave her his hand and lifted her up. . ." Dorcas spent her life giving people a helping hand and now God gave her a hand up.