Saturday, August 17, 2013
I don't mean to scare away the ladies who may be reading, but I'm going to kick this off by talking about one of the manliest of manliest movies I've ever seen: 300. Seriously, this movie will put hair on your chest. If you haven't seen this movie, it's about the battle that took place in 480 BC between Sparta and Persia. King Xerxes of Persia led an army of about 100,000 soldiers to the shores of Sparta. Vastly outnumbered, King Leonidas of Sparta takes 300 of his best men and shocks the entire Persian army when they hold off the Persians for 10 days, allowing Sparta to mobilize their entire army in time to defend themselves from the tyrant Xerxes.
"Cool story bro, but what's the point?"
Well, this isn't the first time in history this had ever happened... Picture this:
It's 900 years before the battle between Sparta and Persia. The Sun has set for a few hours now and a calm darkness covers the land while the stars paint the black sky. In the Jezreel Valley of Israel, the Midianite army (an enemy of the Israelites) can barley be seen in the shadows of the night (and what a sight they are!). The amount of soldiers residing in this land are more numerous than one could count... their camels alone are as numerous as the sand on the shore! A force to be reckoned with, they comfortably and confidently slumber in the night. That's when it happens: the stillness of the night is interrupted by the sound of countless jars shattering on the ground. Immediately following is the deafening sound of trumpets blowing in all directions! Alarmed, all the soldiers awaken, rush for their arms, quickly suit for battle, and rush out of their tent. What is seen is more terrifying than the sounds of war... the darkness of night is now lit with the fire of torches coming from all directions! Never had they seen such a terrifying amount of enemy soldiers! In a panic, they start attacking anything that seems as a threat... The bodies on the ground are so great that people begin to trip over them, landing in pools of blood. As they try to get up, some are slaughtered... others let their innate self-preservation override the will to fight and begin to retreat... Where? ANYWHERE!!!
What is really happening here? If we flip the switch and turn the lights on, we'll see that what the Midianites thought was an overwhelming army is really only 300 soldiers. They weren't wielding shields and swords, but trumpets and torches... Where is the slaughter coming from? If we zoom into the heart of the battle, we discover that the men killing the Midianites is none other than Midianites themselves... The death came from their own sword! Your move, Midian...
All this can be read in the amazing book of Judges in the 7th chapter. Now, without the pretext of this battle, one would wonder "Why the heck would these people attack with such a small army? I mean... sure they won, but what are the odds of that happening again?" My answer to that question is, to the common man, it was not only foolish, but it was suicide... at least Sparta used Shields and Swords!!! For something like this to work it would take... wait for it....
~an act of GOD~
Ah, there it is... Yes, and an act of God it was indeed. Originally, Gideon, the leader of these men came with an army of 100,000 men... But God pretty much said "Where's the challenge in that?! Tell the men who want to go home to leave...". With that, their once grand army of 100,000 had been reduced to a mere 10,000. Though small in number when compared to the Midianites, with proper leadership and much strategy, one could maybe still have a victory... But God was like "Naaaah, that's still too many... Take them to the river and send back the ones who kneel to drink." That thinned the army to only 300. If I were Gideon, I would probably think "okay, God... What are you trying to do here...?"
Okay, once again you're probably thinking 'Cool story, bro... but what's your point?'
God thinned the army out so much that He wanted to make sure that the Israelites could in no way, shape, or form say that they won because they were stronger or smarter. God purposefully made the odds impossible to prove that HE was the reason for their victory.
Please, read these verses...
1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (NIV)
"Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him."
God LOVES impossible odds... That guy who never spoke in class or hunches quietly in his office is the PERFECT candidate for God to send out before a crowd and announce an alter call, to which hundreds eagerly partake in... That lady who couldn't even make it past pre-algebra in High School is the PERFECT candidate for God to call to be an overseas Engineer in Saudi Arabia to bring the Gospel to a Muslim Nation... That Atheist who struggled with drug, alcohol, and sex addiction is the PERFECT candidate for God to call to be an overseas missionary, preaching the gospel under a tree with hundreds of people sitting on the ground eagerly listening to the story of this God-Man who came down, lived, suffered, died, and was resurrected for them.
As I have stated in my description, I am no writer... I don't consider myself "qualified" to write an influential piece. I was called out by Christ to take a step out of my comfort zone and serve Him here. I wish I could say that I acted right away and obeyed God, but I have been refusing to blog for a good year. God relentlessly pursued me though. He put these words in my heart: "You're right, Noel. You aren't the strongest writer.... and THAT is why I want you to take this step of faith and LET me qualify you." If my words ever touch the heart of one person, it was not me, but the Spirit in me... I give the glory to my Heavenly Father... I will truly try to make this blog my act of worship to God.
Now, I challenge you, Mr./Mrs./Miss Reader... I challenge you to think about your weaknesses... you've probably already thought of a few things while reading this. That is probably the Lord stirring something up inside of you, pushing for your compliance. Don't ignore that fluttery feeling in your stomach... Remember, God loves an underdog. Let him use you.
Thank you for reading :)