Who does God use? The answer may surprise us.
This week we will look at a number of people and their status in life.
God speaks to this issue in 1 Corinthians 1.
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:” (1 Corinthians 1:26-28)
God chose the “…the foolish things of the world…”, “…the weak things of the world…”, and “…base things of the world…”. Not exactly who we would choose to develop a ministry to reach the world for Christ. From the outset God was looking for individuals who were teachable. Some were more teachable than others, but all were willing to be taught and used by God to do His will.
Who were these people?
Abel: keeper of the sheep (Genesis 4:2)
“And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”
Enoch: walked with God (Genesis 5:24)
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
Noah: found grace in the eyes of the Lord/just and perfect man (Genesis 6:8-9)
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”
Abram: cattleman (Genesis 13:2)
“And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.”
Joseph: shepherd/dreamer (Genesis 37:2, 5)
“These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.”
“And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.”
Moses: son of Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus 2:10)
“And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.”
Rahab: harlot (Joshua 2:1)
“And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.”
Deborah: prophetess/judge of Israel (Judges 4:2)
“And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.”
Barak: military leader (Judges 4:6)
“And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
Gideon: threshed wheat by the winepress (Judges 6:11)
“And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.”
Jephthah: mighty man of valor, son of a harlot, deliverer of Israel (Judges 11:1)
“Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.”
Samson: Nazarite, deliverer of Israel (Judges 13:5)
“For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”
David: shepherd, harp player, king (1 Samuel 16:11, 16-18, 2 Samuel 2:4)
“And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.”
“Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.”
“And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul.”
Esther: orphan Jewish girl (Esther 2:7)
“And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.”
These Old Testament individuals came from humble back rounds, wicked lifestyles, or circumstances that limited what it seemed possible for them to do. Then God got a hold of their lives and transformed them into individuals worthy to proclaim God, His word, do His work, and ultimately to honor and glorify God.
Next, we will look at some New Testament individuals.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001