EXODUS 4:1 ‘And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou has spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue
DEUTERONOMY 34:4 And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither
1 Samuel 9: 21 And Saul answered and said, Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Wherefore then speakest thou so to me?
1 Samuel 15: 17, 23 Then Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?…..
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king
Judges 6: 15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house
Judges 8: 27, 33 And Gideon made an ephod thereof and put it in his city, even in Ophrah; and all Israel went thither a whoring after it; which became a snare unto Gideon and to his house….And the children of Israel remembered not the Lord their God….Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel
It is interesting that many of the great and strong that did well in God’s hands but later got into trouble with Him had similar responses when He called them. ‘I am the wrong person. I do not fit the bill’. It is as if the way they see themselves at the beginning of their extraordinary journey with God remains a hindering element no matter how much God does with them and for them. No matter how much God proves over and over again that victory is assured so long as they don’t focus on their own strength but on His extraordinary presence that is available to solve any dimensions of trouble, these giants continued to be pulled down by the perspectives of their limitations. The triumphs of Moses, Saul and Gideon all ended on an anticlimactic note that is almost physically hurtful to any follower of their stellar careers.
Contrast this with the inner confidence that anchored Samuel, Joseph, David and Daniel in their sense of identity. These were young men who grew up assured that God was real and was with them. Their identities were embedded in the confidence of the unseen hand of an unseen father with them. So they spoke boldly before queens, kings, giants and multitudes, as if they could not see danger where normal people would see danger.
That unseen hand they were so aware of did not save them from trials. Indeed, they seemed dropped into higher levels of trials that most people encounter. They faced lions and bears, prison, battles, exile and often, utter rejection. But they never bowed to a sense of inferiority, because they were assured that that same hand would come through for them. And their hearts insisted on the leadership of that hand and nothing else – no matter how visible and glittering another option was. Their identities were rooted in that ‘unseen Father and Lord’. And because they were so conscious of that strong ‘Lord’, they never succumbed to fake substitutes as the source of life. And against incredible lows, these fellows bounced back again and again, and ended their tenures with a scream of trophies.
We celebrate them as mentors who dug for the diamonds of life, and rejected butterflies. It is important for us to appreciate that at the deepest core of these men, was an unshakeable sense of who they were, and whose they were. So far as they were concerned, no battle was too strong for the God under whose cover they walked. This is what brought them to a beautiful finish. We will do well to realize this and deal with every nagging sense of inferiority, no matter the circumstances of our birth and journey.
May the Lord lead you to the anchor of knowing without a doubt, that you belong to one larger than yourself. May your identity be shaped deeply by a sense of belonging to the everlasting God, and the majestic values of His commandments and covenant, never any fleeting circumstance, no matter how dire or beautiful it looks. May your heart know peace and rest in your true identity as a child of God, so you do not lose your way after many successes. The saddest thing to see is the horror of eventual loss because a person failed to secure their identity with the integrity of an inner anchor. That anchor does not come from the church, family, or city you belong to. It comes from personally spending time with God and knowing Him. Like Joseph, like Samuel, like David, and like Daniel
Prayer: Lord, may I know who you are, who I am, and what I am doing here. You put me here to be a blessed child of God, who leaves a trail of liberty for others, through a life of exercising faith. Let me never lose that identity and be so enthralled or intimidated by any present, that I forget whose I am