These guys were tough. They were the brave, strong, moral, fictional guardians of Gotham or the Wild West who took on evil and injustice wherever they met it and made the world a better fictional place to live!
There is a palpable perception today that we may be just one good disaster away from total chaos. These days, our world seems a crazy place; the news is bad and getting worse.Society seems to have lost whatever moral compass it ever had. Our elected leadership, red or blue, are woefully ineffective and seem totally clueless as to what course to set.
What this situation calls for is not just another fictional super hero. It calls for Mighty Men of Valor! We have as Biblical examples, a number of men that God chose to use to lead His battles in a big way and they are called “Mighty Men of Valor”:
Joshua: Former Stone dresser in Egypt. One of the “spies”Moses sent to check out the new promised land. Joshua believed God and He and Caleb brought back a Good Report. Eventually, he wound up leading the Israeli army to victory time after time. (Numbers 13, the book of Joshua)
David: Began as a shepherd boy. He was so unremarkable and forgettable that his family didn’t even think to call him home when Samuel arrived to anoint one of Jesse’s kids as new King of Israel. After his anointing, the next time we see him he is taking down Giants. (1 Samuel 16-17)
Gideon: We first see Gideon sneaking around in the dark, trying to thresh a little grain for his family. He was hiding in fear from the Midianites who had been plaguing the Hebrew people and stealing their food. While he is in fear and hiding, an angel of the Lord appears to him and greets him as a mighty man of valor! You see, the Lord is not hindered by time, as we are, and HE sees us as He knows we will be, not as we are right now! Gideon goes on to be an incredible leader in God’s army and they vanquish the enemies of Israel together. He served as the 6th Judge over Israel (Judges6-9)
1) These fellows were willing to be used-albeit some were reluctant at first and had to be convinced! They were willing and then followed up with obedience and believed what God told them.
2) They had teachable spirits. The minute that we think we have God or scripture totally figured out, or that God doesn’t work this way or that way anymore, is the minute that we are in deep trouble. These gentlemen were willing to be used differently than their father’s had lived or been used in the past.
3) If they messed up-they admitted it and then hit their knees, repented of their sin to get right with God. By doing so, God was able to keep using them. They were not perfect.
That’s it. That’s all!
All thru the Bible there are stories of men and women that God raised up from total obscurity to either a lifetime or merely momentary spiritual greatness. Go back and read their stories. It will hearten you! In no particular order, and just off the top of my head, I give you:
Abraham: Business man, sheep rancher. Listened to God’s voice and obeyed.
Moses: Son of slaves, stuttered and had a huge fear of public speaking. Took on Pharaoh and led the Hebrews out of bondage. Joseph: Obnoxious, boastful, teenaged member of a dysfunctional, blended family, that drove his brothers crazy enough to sell him into slavery. Rose to power in Egypt and saved several countries from starvation. Joshua: Slave in Egypt, stone cutter. Mary: Nice Jewish girl in Nazareth, became the mother of the Messiah. Daniel the Prophet: Rich Jewish boy hauled off into Babylonian slavery. Peter, James and John: uneducated,Galilean fishermen. Matthew: despised and unethical tax collector. Hannah,Elisabeth and Sarah: Ordinary housewives who wanted a baby. Ruth: penniless widow and former idol worshiper, became King David’s grandmother. Rahab: madam in a house of prostitution in sin city. Centurion: Roman soldier who believed the vision and sent for Peter as instructed. Paul: Vicious religious zealot who God chose to bring the gospel to the Gentile world. Jacob/Israel: Liar and sneak. Joseph of Nazareth: Regular carpenter guy. Elisha: unmarried young farmer and Prophet.
This was just a sampling but you get the idea. God can use anybody. Young or old, rich or poor, slave or free, educated or not. Rarely does He make the obvious choice; the most influential, educated, the most prominent, the one voted in high school the most likely to succeed. Now, some of these folks wound up prominent, wealthy and influential. But, some of them eventually paid the ultimate high price for their obedience to that call. There is no guarantee of fame and glory here on earth.
As a group they just fell asleep and had a dream,heard that beautiful voice, saw an angel or had a vision. They Listened and obeyed. These were just plain, old ordinary folks. While that list looks like a big group…it was sometimes just one or two in a generation. God doesn’t need a crowd. Jesus chose 12 regular guys and they turned the world upside down! He likes to keep it small and intimate so that there is no misunderstanding as to who really won the battle! Down to a man or woman,they all were willing to be taught, to be used and to be obedient to God. They believed God when He revealed Himself to them. They were Mighty because they knew that I AM was backing them up. They were Mighty only because they were riding on His Mighty shoulders.
As we enter the end of the Age there is much to accomplish and The Lord of Hosts is looking for a few good, willing men and women. Is it you? Will you be ready when you hear the Voice, when you hear that shofar blow? Will you drop your plow, or jump out of your fishing boat, shift gears and without missing a beat, slap on your armor, pick up your orders and go?