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Unlikely Choices

Life is full of choices. Sometimes it’s obvious what the right choice is. We call it a “no-brainer.” Sometimes there’s no right or wrong choice. It’s difficult, but we rely on God to help us make the wisest choice. Sometimes the unlikely choice surprises everyone, but turns out to be the best.

God has surprised people over and over again with unlikely choices. Samuel was chosen by God to anoint a king. God led him to Jesse’s family. One by one, Jesse’s seven sons were paraded before the prophet. “No. He’s not the one,” Samuel kept saying. “Aren’t there any others?” Then Jesse had to tell him about the runt of the litter. The kid who was out tending sheep. And lo and behold, when David was brought to meet Samuel, God confirmed that this was the one He had chosen.

Was David chosen because he was the oldest? No. Because he was the most likely? Not at all. Because he was perfect? By no means. But God was pleased to choose David because of his heart. God even called him “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22). David failed at times, but overall, his heart was sensitive toward God. And God knew what He was doing when He made this unlikely choice. (See I Samuel 16.) Can you imagine the story of God without David in it? Can you imagine our Bible without the Psalms? Oh, I love David! And I love the fact that God used this sinful man for His glory.

Another example of God’s unlikely choices is Gideon. He wasn’t the bravest dude. He questioned God over and over. You’ll find his story in Judges 6 – 8. I’m sure you remember how God used Gideon to defeat the thousands of Midianites with just three hundred soldiers who marched around the city in a most unlikely manner breaking lamp pitchers and blowing ram’s horns until the enemy all fled. God uses the weak to show His power to the world. No one else can get the credit for what He does. He makes that very clear.

In the New Testament, Paul pointed out this fact: “But God has chosen what the world calls foolish to shame the wise; he has chosen what the world calls weak to shame the strong. He has chosen things of little strength and small repute, yes and even things which have no real existence to explode the pretensions of the things that are—that no man may boast in the presence of God” (I Corinthians 1:27-29, J. B. Phillips).

So is there any hope for us? I always say that if God could use a Gideon, or a donkey’s jawbone, or a little boy’s lunch to accomplish His purposes, then He can use anyone or anything. Doesn’t that include you and me? Are you an unlikely choice? That’s just what God likes, isn’t it?


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