Friday, March 6. 2015
In the story of Gideon and the amazing victory of God’s very small army against a Midianite army many times their size, I saw these two enlightening verses: “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.” (Judges 7:2-3) Gideon had gathered 32 thousand men to go into battle with him but in the end, it wasn’t these 22 thousand men who fought but only 300. With this very small number of men, it would have been a stretch for anyone to think that this amazing battle was won through anything other than divine intervention. That was God’s purpose all along, that nobody would think of trying to take all the credit and the glory for themselves.
God hasn’t changed, He still does not take it lightly when people think that they are the sole reason for any successes they may have in life. Paul made that clear to the Corinthian church as well when he wrote: “He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:31) That truth was also clear to God’s people in the days of the prophet Isaiah when he wrote: “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (Isaiah 42:8)
This truth came to my mind recently when I started thinking of all the people everywhere that always boast about their own achievements and exploits and very seldom does anybody ever admit that it was because of God’s grace and mercy. Thank God there are still a few athletes who give Christ the praise He deserves. As for the others, I don’t know about you, but I’m personally fed up hearing about certain lawyers who are tough as nails or are considered the best in the country, or call themselves but some carpenter’s tool, and athletes who thump their chest, dance around, or lift their jersey to show us who they are and where they come from every time they make a good play, or politicians who want to make us believe that they will save us all, or that their opponent is worse than the devil himself. I’ve been in funerals where the church or the religion conducting the services gets all the praise and seldom does Jesus get the glory. Every time I see or hear this scenario being repeated, I often ask myself, “Where is God in all of this?” Do you ever wonder if these things will ever stop and if people will start giving God the glory again? In closing, let me remind you that as far as ministers are concerned, you can count on me because “I am the tough, smart pastor.” Please pardon the sarcasm.
Memory verse for the week: “So then, neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” (1 Cor. 3:7 KJV)
Note: I pray all of you have a very enjoyable and relaxing Spring Break, and since I plan to enjoy it with my family as well, I will write to you again, God willing, on Monday, March 16. I know; it will break your heart not getting these blogs next week but I'm sure you'll survive.