Thursday, 31 January 2019

Qualifying Disqualification

There are many cases in the story of the Bible when God seems to pick the most unlikely people to do particular things. Abraham and Sarah were called by God to found a nation, but were incapable of having children. Gideon was called by God to defeat the invading Midianites, but came from a small clan, and had no military experience. Paul was called by God to take the message of Jesus to the Gentile world, even though he passionately hated the teaching of Jesus and was trying hard to suppress it. These four, and many others, appear to be particularly unqualified for the tasks God was choosing them for.
God, however, does not simply call the least suitable person for any given task. Abraham and Sarah were extremely rich and powerful, and were on first name terms with most of the kings in the region; in that, they were well placed to found a new nation. Gideon proved to be an imaginative and resourceful man who could turn his mind to unusual challenges. Paul was a Citizen of Rome, highly educated in Greek culture as well as Jewish theology, and was undoubtedly energetic and passionate. All these factors made God’s chosen agents particularly well qualified for the tasks in hand.
God looks for people who have the right skills and qualifications for a job, but he also picks people who have a notable disqualification. He does that to keep them humble, so that they will work in partnership with him and not try to do things on their own. After Gideon had assembled an army of 32,000 men, God said, 'The troops with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand. Israel would say, “My own hand has delivered me.”’ Eventually, it was with an army of just 300 that Gideon outwitted the huge Midianite army.
In our own situations, God works to a similar pattern. He looks to use our skills and our strengths, but he also makes use of our weaknesses. God loves us to work in partnership with him, and for that he chooses people with a qualifying disqualification.
God will not call us to do things that we can do easily. He is more likely to call us to do something that we can only achieve with his help.

Recently published:
by Robert Harrison
the life and loves of a disciple of Jesus