Impossible Odds

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37 (NASB)

The Bible contains many stories of God accomplishing impossible things with impossible odds. For example, God uses Abraham, a man Paul describes as being “as good as dead” in Romans 4, to birth the blessing to “all the families of the earth” (Genesis 12:3). And, while being almost dead might not be a black mark, Abraham possesses plenty of them: He’s a liar. Abraham tries to accomplish God’s promise through human efforts, creating friction between Sarah and Hagar. He gets into trouble with kings. All in all, Abraham is no saint. God still chooses Abraham, though, and Abraham eventually becomes known as a man of faith. 

Then there’s Gideon (Judges 6-8). He might be a swell fellow, but no one expects him to lead an army against Israel’s oppressors. In fact, he seems downright timid and unsure of himself. He requires multiple “proofs” before he agrees to do anything. God uses him despite his hesitance and dragging feet.

Jeremiah presents a similar case (Jeremiah 1). We know him as a great prophet, but at the beginning he wasn’t much to look at. He tells God he lacks words. When that produces no effect, Jeremiah says he’s too young. God basically waves off his concerns, telling Jeremiah he will speak for God because God will speak through him.God uses all sorts of people to accomplish his aims, and all of them are messed up and broken. They struggle with doubt and fear. They question. Some start well and falter midway (David). Others start well and end terribly (Solomon). Some people start terribly and finish well (Saul/Paul). But God works through them and us because, when it comes down to it, God is God. He loves us because of who he is (Deuteronomy 7:7-8), not because of who we are or what we can do.

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