As I thought about Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 I realized God loves to confound people. He likes to pick those that have no ability of their own to accomplish a task. The ones that have been the youngest, overlooked, rejected, addicted and despised according to the world’s standard. God loves the underdog.
It only takes a quick glance at most of the characters in the Bible to discover that God delights in working through ordinary people by putting them in extraordinary situations. Let’s run through a few, come on it will be fun.
Let’s start with Abraham; after all he is deemed the Father of the faith.
Abraham was called out of his hometown and told to go somewhere he only found out about while he was on the way. God made him a promise to give him a son and then proceeded to wait until Abraham and his wife Sarah were way beyond childbearing years to give him to them. It was God’s way of showing them, and anyone watching, that it was God’s promise and only God could fulfill it. God essentially brought life from death, in that Sarah’s womb was as good as dead, and Abraham was around 99yrs old.
Moses is perhaps one of the most well known men in the Old Testament. Probably best known for leading the Children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage and right up to the border of the Promised Land. Behind this extraordinary feat was a man with his own share of insecurity. Moses was told to go and talk to Pharaoh and tell him to let the people go but Moses had a stuttering problem. He couldn’t speak very well at all. God said “who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now then go, and I even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.”
David, also known as a man after God’s heart, had a very humble beginning. The prophet Samuel was sent by God to anoint the new King. Jesse, David’s dad, paraded every one of his sons in front of Samuel hoping one of them would be king. When Samuel didn’t see the king in any of them he asked if Jesse had any other sons. Jesse seemingly reluctant told him about David out watching sheep. David was overlooked by his father and brothers, but God chose him anyway and he became arguably the greatest King Israel ever had.
Gideon was chosen to be a warrior to fight for Israel. Gideon’s response to this was “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” Gideon couldn’t see this warrior God was talking about, but God knew what was in Gideon and sent him on to victory.
Jeremiah thought he was too young to do what God called him to do. He said “I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak. “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord.
I want to share one more from the New Testament. This one was a woman that if we knew her we would probably lock her up or at the very least stay away from her. She was a woman named Mary and the Bible says she had seven demons in her. Jesus freed her from the demons and even allowed her to be the first one to announce his resurrection from the dead. The scriptures tell us the disciples didn’t believe her at first. Of course once he came and made a personal visit they couldn’t help but believe. Of all people God chose a woman that had a demonic past to be the first to share the good news of the resurrection with the world.
To me this list of misfits and losers encourages me. I am not getting down on these folks I’m just saying according to the world’s standard they would have been on the “least likely to succeed” list I’m sure. These are the ones Paul talks about in the last few verses of the first chapter of 1 Corinthians. The foolish and weak ones God uses to leave the rest of the world scratching their heads in amazement.
once heard “when you come to the end of yourself you are at the beginning of God.” I also heard Sylvia Pearce say “God’s permanent address is at wit’s end.” When we have totally exhausted all of our own resources or abilities; God steps in and works miracles. In and of ourselves we could never accomplish what God calls us to, but when we are walking after the spirit we can do all things. Paul said we are “those who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” Jesus said “if we have faith the size of a mustard seed…nothing shall be impossible to you.”
Written by Louie