Summary: When we look at some less well-known people in the Bible whose names we might just pass over while reading a verse or passage of scripture, you will discover that God has also used many ordinary people in a powerful way.
Our theme this year is Powerful People and we are going to examine together how God works in and through ordinary people in a powerful way.
Some of the people from the Bible we will look at are more well known than others.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books and letters, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
The Bible covers thousands of years of history and mentions hundreds of different people.
You probably already know significant things about how God powerfully used people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Daniel, Isaiah or Apostle Paul.
When we look at some less well-known people in the Bible whose names we might just pass over while reading a verse or passage of scripture, you will discover that God has also used many ordinary people in a powerful way.
People who are not so different from you and me, people who are not perfect, people who do not get everything right, people who fail or fall or stumble, people who humanly speaking were weak by the standards of the world accomplished great things in God’s strength and power.
Jabez is only mentioned 3 times in the Bible, yet his simple prayer of faith gives us a powerful example of answered prayer and blessing receiving from the Lord.
Any idea who Shiphrah and Puah were?
Shiphrah and Puah were two of the midwives assigned to attend Israelite women during childbirth in the years preceding the exodus.
During the time of Joseph, the Israelites enjoyed favour before Pharaoh and his court. After he died, however, another pharaoh took his place.
The Israelites’ population increased and the Egyptians felt threatened and feared the Israelites would take over the nation.
To limit their growth, Exodus 1:16 records how the king of Egypt told the midwives:
“When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.”
But Shiphrah and Puah feared God.
They refused to do what the king of Egypt ordered. Deliberately disobeying their leader’s command, they delivered each tiny newborn with all the skill and ability they possessed.
Their disobedience came to the attention of the king, and he summoned them to stand before him.
Shiphrah and Puah were wise.
They recognized their responsibility to obey their leader, but they also understood God’s law supersedes man’s law.
They knew they could not sin against God by killing Hebrew babies.
“‘Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women,’ they said to Pharaoh. ‘They are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.’”
The Bible tells us God acknowledged their courage and commitment to do what was right and he gave them families of their own”
Shiphrah and Puah are powerful examples of ordinary people being used in an extraordinary way by God.
They were willing to do what was right in the sight of their powerful God no matter the cost to them.
God has enabled ordinary people to do extraordinary things throughout history and He will continue to empower ordinary people to accomplish His purposes.
Maybe some of us think God ‘might’ move in our lives in a powerful way...
Maybe some of us ‘expect’ God to work powerfully in our lives someday in the future...
Are you expecting God to work in a powerful way in and through you today or are you limiting God’s power and the work of the Holy Spirit?
Consider these words from Ephesians chapter 3:
Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT)
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV)
God is able to accomplish infinitely more or do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or think.
Matthew Henry commenting on this truth wrote:
“There is an inexhaustible fullness of grace and mercy in God, which the prayers of all the saints can never draw dry. Whatever we may ask, or think to ask, still God is still able to do more, abundantly more, exceedingly abundantly more. Open your mouth ever so wide, still he has the wherewithal to fill it.”
What are your expectations?
God has the power to do more in your life and mine than we can hope or think or imagine.
There may be many things we can not do in our own strength or our own ability as Jesus said in Matthew 19:26 “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”