Judges 6:15 “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.” (NIV)
Like most Christians, I love the story of Gideon in the Old Testament. He starts from humble beginnings and ends up becoming one of the greatest leaders the Israelites had ever known. He was chosen by God to do something significant and make a difference in his generation. In the Bible passage, Judges 6:1-24, when the angel of the Lord visits with him, Gideon cannot believe what is being asked of him. In his own eyes, he’s too small, too insignificant, and too weak to change his people’s world and make an impact on his community.
In times of turmoil and crisis, we can all feel that way. There are too many problems to overcome and we convince ourselves that we don’t have enough power, resources, or strength to make a difference. We believe that we are weak vessels, unable to stand up to what is going wrong in our society or too insignificant to be able to change things. However, when we read the Bible we soon discover that God changes things when the humblest, weakest, and most powerless of folks become resolute, focused, and intentional. I guess God likes it when we rely on His strength instead of our own and follow His guidance rather than doing it ourselves.
We can all become agents of change and confront evil in our cities, towns, and communities. We can all stand up for what is right and face down what is false. Instead of worrying about current situations, we need to pray. Rather than buckling under every crisis, we need to build up ourselves as people of faith, compassion, and justice. No matter who we are, God can lead us to do better things. No matter what we’ve done in the past, God can use us today to make a difference, to right wrongs, and build a better, freer, and lovelier world for future generations. After all, if God could take a weak person like Gideon and turn him into a strong leader, then who knows what God can do with each one of us?
Point to ponder
What changes would I like to see in the world today? Am I ready to let God help me make those changes?
Prayer: Lord God, You know every weakness about us and yet You are still willing to call and equip us to do Your work in the world. Allow us to make an impact in our congregations and communities so that changes can be made which will make our world a better place. In Christ’s Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can read the church website at: www.erinpresbyterian.org. You can also send John an email with your questions, thoughts, and ideas to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s cross drawings called “Celtic Rainbow.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Cross.