Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. PS 20:7 NIV
Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zech. 4:6 KJV
Recently we have been in a study of the book of Judges in the Sunday School class I co-teach. The past two weeks I have taught on Gideon and Samson. I have been stuck by the intriguing biblical contrast between these two leaders of ancient Israel.
Gideon started off fearful and lacking confidence in the Lord. When He was met by the Angel of the Lord He was hiding in a winepress threshing wheat. Even through Gideon’s doubting and questioning Him, the Lord was faithful. The Lord used a tiny army to defeat a much bigger foe. In fact, the Midianites fled before the army of the Lord before Gideon’s little band had even struck a single blow! Later in life Gideon forgot His dependence on God and created a golden Ephod that lead all Israel into idolatry.
Samson’s life story is just the opposite. Although His great strength was clearly from God He was prideful and seemed more concerned about satisfying his own selfish desires than leading God’s people. In the end after having his power and his eyesight stripped away at the hands of His enemies, Samson finally humbled himself and turned to the Lord for victory. Both of these men’s lives teach us that the battle belongs to the Lord. So often on trips that I lead I see people gravitate to one of these two extremes. They are either timid and fearful to begin with when faced with a challenge or strangely overly confident and don’t take the task seriously. In the wilderness context both of these approaches lead to serious lessons about trusting in God’s strength and not our own. I’ve seen many participants overcome their fears through faith in God, and walk away with a new sense of trust in the power and love of their heavenly father. I’ve also seen participants humbled and shaken to the point that they take their toys and go home early.
In our society today we are fixated on the might and power of men to the point that we often forget who is really in control. I am so thankful for how God has used the wilderness journey in my life to bring me to the very end of myself and remind me that although my strength is incredibly limited, my God is limitless and delights in lifting up His children when they humble themselves before Him.
No matter what you are facing today may you find solace and comfort in the knowledge that in your weakness God will show Himself strong. May you not be timid and afraid nor proud and self-reliant, but may you rest confidently in the assurance that the battle belongs to the Lord.
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