The Legacy

Murray Heron
Over the past few months two giants in the history of our movement have passed away. One, Murray Heron, was one of the pioneers who moved to Northwestern Quebec to do ministry among the francophones of Rouyn-Noranda, Val d’Or, LaSarre and Malartic. He, and others were persecuted and imprisoned during those early years but they faithfully continued their ministry despite the challenges. The story of those years continues to inspire others to serve the Lord with diligence. The other, Roy Lawson, served in youth and pastoral ministry for many years but perhaps is best known for the years he gave as General Secretary (now “President”) of The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada. He left a mark on the movement and on the present leaders of the movement that will not soon be forgotten.

As I read 2 Kings 13 this morning, the story was told of another man who left his mark. Elisha, the prophet of the Lord, faithfully proclaimed the word of the Lord during the spiritual ups and downs of both Israel and Judah. Verse 20 says: “Elisha died and was buried.” End of story, right?

Not quite. The end of verse 20 and verse 21 give us this interesting tidbit of information: “Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.

I wouldn’t expect that anything like that would happen at the gravesides of either Murray or Roy (but you never know) but there is a lesson here for us. Our influence extends beyond our lifetime. That influence can harm or bless. The question that we need to ask ourselves is what kind of influence are we being now that will be of positive benefit after we are gone?

That kind of influence is important on a grander scale than we might imagine. 2 Kings 13 mentions this in passing: “But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Issac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence” (vs. 23).

Evil times dogged the steps of Israel, brought on by the sins of its king and its people. But God chose to hold back His judgment because there still remained a kernel of godliness because of Elisha and those whose lives he influenced. We can have no doubt that our own country has long since abandoned its moral compass, its roots in the Word of God. Yet God continues to be gracious and hold back His judgment on us. There still remains that kernel, that bit that you and I contribute to maintaining truth and righteousness in our land. We need to be Murray Herons and Roy Lawsons and Elishas and live our godly legacy now so that we leave behind an influence that will continue to be of spiritual benefit to those who follow us. Who knows? We might even help raise some spiritually dead even after we are gone.

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