I was listening to my pastor preach and he said something about someone in the Bible that would have be unlikely to be used by God. I began to think on that subject and began recalling some names that would make you think that they were not qualified as we might see them, but were perfectly qualified from God’s point of view. Here are a few of the ones I thought of:
How about Abraham and Sarah? Does it not seem unlikely to use a 100 year old man and a 90 year old woman, both well past the age to start a family to be the chosen couple to start the Jewish nation. God promised them descendants innumerable and He did it.
How about Joseph? A nice Jewish boy, who was the favorite of his father, Jacob, but hated by his brothers. They wanted to kill him, but sold him into slavery instead. He ended up in Egypt and there ended up in jail. It seems unlikely that a Jewish boy would become the prime minister of Egypt saving the Egyptians and his family from starvation.
How about Moses? Yes, Moses. From an enslaved family, hidden in a basket on the Nile River at birth. Raised in Pharaoh’s household as an Egyptian, but never lost his identity with the Jews. He killed a Egyptian and fled to the desert at the age of 40. At the age of 80, God called him to deliver God’s people out of bondage from the Egyptians. He was to be God’s spokesman to Pharaoh. He was not a likely spokesman, because Moses said he was not eloquent in speech, yet God used him, not only to confront Pharaoh, and lead Israel out of Egypt, but leading them for 40 years in the wilderness. May I remind you of how God used Moses. Well, there were the 10 plaques on Egypt. The parting of the Red Sea. That hadn’t been done before. How about striking a rock
26 For consider your calling brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God. 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NASB
and water flowed out of it, enough for all of them to satisfy their thirst. And then speaking directly to God and God writing the Ten Commandments to give to the people through Moses. I don’t know that I would have chosen Moses, but God did.
How about Rahab, the harlot? She was a prostitute from Jericho, who hid the Israelite spies when they came to overtake the city. I believe, God changed her that day. She was an unlikely woman to safeguard God’s people. There are different points of view about whether the Rahab mentioned in Matthew 1:5 was this same Rahab. Some speculate Salmon may have been one of the spies. If it is true, she was in the genealogy of Jesus.
How about David, King David? The shepherd boy and youngest of his father’s sons. God sent the Prophet Samuel to Jesse to choose a king from among Jesse’s son’s. Jesse lined up his son’s for inspection, but they didn’t meet the qualifications. God said “man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” So after all the son’s present were rejected, Samuel ask Jesse if that was all of his sons, “yes, except for David, he is tending sheep.” Apparently, David was just a youth, small in stature, but athletic in his build. He had courage to fight off lions and bears. But he was an unlikely choice to kill a giant named Goliath. He became a skilled warrior and leader of men. He became king and had moral failures by lusting for and raping/taking Bathsheba. He plotted to hide his sin by having Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, killed in battle. He was a good leader, but a terrible father. Even flawed the way he was, God said of him, “he was a man after my own heart.” A highly unlikely choice.
How about the twelve disciples? They were commercial fisherman, tax collectors, political zealots, and a traitor. Twelve normal, working imperfect men. None of them had been to seminary, or Rabbinical school, or even a greeter at the local church. All unlikely men that Jesus called out to be taught God’s word and ways and used to change the world.
How about Jesus Christ? From the world’s point of view, he just did not fit the bill. Starting from where he was born to how he died. They had an image in their mind that didn’t line up with Him. His life was completely baffling to them. He seemed unlikely to be the Savior the Scriptures predicted. But from God’s point of view, He was perfect. He led a sinless perfect life, fulfilling countless prophecies and the ones not yet fulfilled will be fulfilled by Him. He was the only one who was qualified to pay my sin debt. He was the only acceptable sacrifice. It is Jesus and Jesus alone.
How about me? How about you? We may not be the ones with a perfect body and handsome face, great hair, and sparkling teeth. Our voice may not have the velvety resonance of a professional TV or radio presenter. If you are like me, I’m more like one of the twelve disciples, just an average “Joe”.
May I point you back to our scripture. God likes to mess up the world’s thinking by doing things that are foolish in their eyes. Take courage in knowing God has and is using ‘normal’ people to do great things. We are in good company. We are highly unlikely!