Monday, May 6, 2013

God's Mighty Men

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

     For my next three to four post, we will be walking through some Mighty and Weak Men of the Bible. Some well known, others less so.
      I trust that you will be inspired by this series. It covers many insights into how we should serve and please God, but also how these people were not perfect, but made God the center of their lives. For this post we will be looking at Enoch, Joshua and Caleb, Samson, and Saul.
     Not much is mentioned in the Bible about Enoch, yet he had an amazing testimony of pleasing God. He literally walked with God. He is known as one of two people to not die, the other being Elijah. To be known as a man who walked with God and noble enough to not die, he must have been one mighty man of faith. There are two important things to consider through the testimony of Enoch: pleasing God and God's desire for fellowship with us. Pleasing God has everything to do with what God has already placed in our hearts, what "God prepared in advance for us." We need to know Him to understand this; it has nothing to do with our own personal contribution. Ephesians 2:8-10, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." On the other hand, God's desire is to "draw all men to himself." What an amazing God we serve, who so desperately wants to have fellowship with us.
     Samson, the Byronic hero of the Bible. A Byronic hero is as described by the historian and critic Lord Macaulay as "a man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, merciless in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection." Samson had tremendous potential, mainly his God-given super strength. Born as the result of prayer and the first to take the Nazirite vow, not to drink wine, not touch dead animals and he must not cut his hair. Samson had the strength to totally decimate the Philistines. Yet he squanders his strength on showing off, practical jokes, and revenge. He also breaks all the credentials given to him by God, thus losing favor with Him. So yes he wasted his life, but in the end he remembered what was in important and who gave him his strength. We should follow his example and repent our sins before the Lord. 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
      First impressions can be deceiving, especially when a person’s appearance is contradictory to their actions and abilities. Saul presented the image of an ideal king: strong, courageous, head and shoulders taller than most Israelites. Saul was God’s mighty man chosen to be the first king of Israel, but his actions and character were often contrary to God’s laws. During his reign, Saul had great success but only when he followed God. His greatest failures where caused by his pride and want to act on his own. Even his weaknesses could have been used by God, if Saul had acknowledged them. We should learn from Saul and submit to God. Let Him work through our weaknesses and trust He will still accomplish great things through us.
     Joshua and Caleb were willing to take on the giants, not because they were mighty in battle, but because they knew that the biggest giant of all was on their side. The biggest giants that we face in our lives are nothing when compared to our God, who is all-powerful, all-wise, and who has no limitations. Joshua came from a life of slavery; he went from slave to commander of the Israelite army, but first he had to face the giants of fear, disappointment, ambition, and vulnerability. We as God's children must always be ready to face the giants, and we should do it with faith, knowing that God, the biggest giant of all, is with us and will be with us in every situation as long as we bend our knee before Christ, the captain of the Lord’s hosts, and acknowledge Him as the one who is the true conqueror.
     My study on mighty men has led me to believe that God prefers to use weak or otherwise unsuited men to accomplish his will. Mighty men tend to rely on their own strength and not on God’s.


Bibliography:, unless otherwise specified, all Scripture quotations are from the New International Version of the Bible, copyright 1983


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