Tuesday, March 29, 2016

God Loves the Underdog!

Scriptures of the Day
Joshua 6-7, Psalm 52, 1 Corinthians 14

Verse of the Day
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” 16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

We see that although Israel enjoyed peace for 40 years, for seven years they turned from worshipping the One, True God, to false gods like Baal. So God in effect said, "If that is the god you want to serve, then I will withdraw my hand of protection I have given you." So after 7 years, the Israelites cried out to God asking for relief from the oppression from the Midianites.

So God raised up Gideon, under the oak tree and said to him, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” But in spite of this Gideon had his doubts, and expressed them. His doubt started with the fact his family was not one of the top clans, and he was the weakest in his clan. Gideon, whose name means “cutter” or “cutter of trees,” belonged to an undistinguished family of the Abiezrites.

As Gideon rallies the troops to fight, he gets 32,000 men to attack. But God says, "that is too many" because Israel will boast and say, "my own strength saved me". So through a series of tests, Gideon whittles down the army to 300 men to fight the Midianites.

Why do you think God uses the weakest person from the weakness clan to rescue the Israelites from Midianites? God takes an army of 32,000 and whittles it down to 300 fighting men, presumably the best of the best. God gives us a clue when he says, "I don't want Israel to boast they saved themselves". God wanted to make sure none of the glory was taken from him, so he took an unlikely man from an unlikely clan, and the reduced his army from 32,000 to 300. Talk about a good plot for a movie.

God uses unlikely heroes. God uses underdogs. God uses the type of people who care more about God's honor, then their own. What is so ironic about this is that is exactly the opposite of the way the world works. "Only the strong survive", is the motto we often hear. But even the apostle Paul says,"When I am weak I am strong. I will boast about weaknesses so that the strength of God will be more clearly revealed."

So the question of the day is if God can use someone like Gideon, can he use people like you and me? It is clear God is looking for something very important. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says it perfectly,

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him"

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