In our culture more is more and more is better. If it is bigger, faster or stronger, then it must be better. If it is richer, more popular or influential, it must be more desirable. This isn’t unique to our country or culture; this is common to all humanity.
When Israelites finally chose their first king, they got Saul, “an impressive young man without equals… a full head taller than all the others.” This was a son from the tribe of Benjamin, the tribe of the most skilled and ferocious warriors in all of Israel, the strongest of the strong, the bravest of the brave to lead them against their scary, strong enemies.
The second king of Israel, David, was the least of the brothers in an unimportant family in the afterthought clan of Judah. We know Judah is important now, but then it was unthinkable that a king would come from them, much less the Messiah (Jesus) who was later born of the same clan in the tiny, unimportant town of Bethlehem.
This week we will be talking about Gideon who had to be called out of hiding by the angel of the LORD and be declared a “Mighty Warrior” or “Mighty Man of Valor.” After this Gideon builds up a mighty army of 32,000 men. By human standards this would have been an impressive army, but God said it is too big and too strong. God shrank it down to 300 men. No, that isn’t a typo.
How in the world would an army of 300 people be good for anything? How would they defeat the bigger, stronger armies of their enemies? And why isn’t 32,000 better than 300?
So we would KNOW it is of God, not of man.
Throughout history God has chosen the foolish, the weak, the poor, the sinner in order to shame the smart, the strong, the rich and the self-righteous. This isn’t out of necessity, but it is a reality of our material based mindset. When we see others who have worldly success and fame, we want to lift them up. When we ourselves achieve worldly gain, we look in the mirror and believe we are something more than we are which causes us to see less of who God is.
What excess is in your life causing you to not see God clearly? Is it success or coveting another’s success? Is there lacking or perceived lacking in your life that takes your focus off God? What needs to be trimmed back to make you less reliant on yourself or your possessions and more reliant on His provision? If you want your faith to grow, it can only grow when you rid yourself of anything that blurs your true self, a person weak in flesh but STRONG in Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29, 31 – ‘”But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him… Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”’