Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Scriptural Knowledge Institution

There are several reasons why the life and ministry of George Muller have been such an inspiration to me.

One of these was his establishment of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution. Here's what the Muller Foundation web site has to say about this worthwhile ministry:

"The Scriptural Knowledge Institution, or SKI, as it is known was founded on March 5th, 1834. George Müller laid down four main objectives, which are shown here. In addition, he felt that since this was of God, there would be no patronage, appeals or requests for subscription and that the Institution should never contract any debts. He was convinced that God would provide all resources and meet every need.

Within the first seven months £167 had been received and by May 1894 the figure had risen to half a million pounds. The institution still flourishes today with the same principles, although there are some changes to meet today's needs. Just over one hundred years later, in 1997, over three hundred thousand pounds was sent to missionaries working both at home and overseas for their support. Most of that money resulted from donations being channelled through SKI by individuals, Trusts, and churches.

The objects of SKI are expressed as follows:-

1 To assist Day-schools, Sunday-schools and Adult-schools, in which instruction is given upon Scriptural principles, and, as far as the Lord may graciously give the means and supply us with suitable teachers, to establish Schools of this kind.

2 To put the children of poor persons to such Day-schools, in order that they may be truly instructed in the ways of God, besides learning those things which are necessary for this life.

3 To circulate the Holy Scriptures.

4 To aid in supplying the wants of Missionaries and Missionary Schools.

Note: These objectives are as printed in a document entitled 'First Report of the Operations of the Scriptural Knowledge Society for Home and Abroad' and was signed by both George Müller and Henry Craik on the 7th October, 1834.

The Bethesda Chapel was the next pastoral ministry for George Müller. The large Chapel was run down and the congregation of six looked extremely small, but with a year's guarantee of rent George Müller committed the future needs of the church to God. The membership grew, financial support came and the Bethesda Chapel prospered both materially and spiritually.

Mary Müller had now given birth to daughter Lydia and it was at the time when Bristol was stricken with cholera. The effects of the cholera resulted in a death rate of high proportions, especially among the adults, and countless children became orphaned.

George Müller, as always, committed the whole problem to God and sought guidance as to what should be done."

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