Have I not sent you?

God rarely calls the most popular, educated or gifted people to ministry. Most of the mighty men and women of the Bible were not mighty at all. They were ordinary people – even flawed people – whom the Lord used for extraordinary purposes. The apostle Paul considered weakness a strength in serving the God of Israel:

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty – 1 Corinthians 1:26-27

In the Old Testament book of Judges two no-names, Gideon and Jephthah, are chosen by God for special assignments. Gideon is threshing wheat when the Lord appears and tells him he will save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. We sense some urgency as God asks, “Have I not sent you?” Gideon answers, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” We see here why God is drawn to Gideon: the young man calls Him “my Lord,” implying a relationship has already been established. In an expression of humility, Gideon says he is powerless and questions why God would even consider him. Yet he answers God’s call. He destroys his father’s pagan altar then routs the Midianite army with a mere 300 men.

Jephthah is the black sheep of his family. The son of a harlot, he is shunned by his half brothers, flees home and becomes a bandit. But not for long. When the Ammonites threaten Israel the elders of Gilead ask Jephthah, the outcast, to lead the army. He routs the enemy then serves as Israel’s judge. Gideon and Jephthah are among the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11.

God continues to manifest His strength in our weaknesss. If you are a follower of Christ don’t worry if you lack confidence, resources, schooling or credentials. You might be the perfect candidate for a heaven-sent assignment. Perhaps God is calling you as He did Gideon: Have I not sent you?

Written by Jeff King

Jeff is a retired newspaper journalist in the United States and follower of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth

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