November 11, 2009 – Devotional: One Man, One God

My thought for the day.
I’ve been reading through the book of Judges and two characters have stood out as men used powerfully by God.
God’s people are under the control of the Midianites, allowed by God because of the evil idolatry that they seem to insist on being involved in. Once again, God’s heart is moved with compassion and He approaches this man named Gideon. It’s the angel of God that addresses Gideon while he’s sitting under an oak tree. He calls Gideon a mighty warrior and tells him he has been chosen by God to deliver Israel. Gideon responds by telling the angel that God has abandoned His people and left them to be ruled by Midian. “God’s not with us. Why, we haven’t seen anything of the God that our parents spoke of. Those awesome miracles of the past, beginning with their deliverance from Egypt, those are just old tales that have nothing to do with us. That God they so often spoke of has left us”. The angel corrects Gideon, “My boy, you’re very wrong, your God has not left, He has heard the cries of His people, and you’re the one chosen to deliver them from Midian’s oppression”. Gideon replied, “God is with me, my master? How, and with what, could I ever save Israel? Look at me, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I’m the runt of the litter.” God said to him, “I’ll be with you, believe me you’ll defeat Midian as one man.”
God was asking this man to obey him and to believe in something that, ’till now, he had never seen, only heard about as great stories of the past. “Gideon all I’m looking for is one man and obedience; with those two necessities in place, look out opposition.” Gideon obeyed and stepped out in faith on God’s promise. He faced those seasoned warriors with just three hundred men and God. He experienced, for the first time, how willing obedience is the conduit by which God’s power and purposes are worked out in this world.
He learned the truth behind Paul’s statement, “When I am weak, then am I strong.”
And then there was Samson. Here was a young man who knew firsthand, from birth, how great the triumphs accomplished in one man are, when he moves obediently in the Power of God. Obeying God in the Nazarite vow meant a God-given power that allowed him to almost wipe out the Philistine population single-handedly. No one had to convince him of the great accomplishment that could be achieved when one man works in concert with the mighty God. What a waste that he allowed the flesh to take precedence over obedience. A man who had been so useful, a man whose strength had convinced the enemy that Israel’s God was real and all powerful. He turned his back on God, allowed his hair to be cut in direct contradiction to the promised life long vow, and chose a woman over faithful service to his God.
One man had it and lost it because of selfish desires. The other had never experienced it, but chose to obey and believe, and so he had the thrill of usefulness as God’s power accomplished God’s purpose through “little old him”. I have no doubt that he lived off the high of that experience the rest of his life.
And then my thoughts went to a third character, my Saviour. What a perfect example of God and one man, one very unique man. Salvation, sins forgiven, Satan defeated, righteousness available, a relationship restored, an unbelievable hope, victory over the enemy, and on the list goes. One man, the man Christ Jesus, whose life was marked by obedience, even when obedience meant the death of the cross. Look at the accomplishment of an obedient life, when the greatest display of God’s power and love was seen by all, at Calvary. He bore our sin, faced God’s wrath, surrendered to, and defeated death, and provided, for a sinner like me, eternal salvation.
The next time God selects, and takes up, one man for His purposes, I want that one man to be me!

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