Summary: How could my weakness be a good thing? Why would this truth be necessary for me to understand God’s will for my life?
OPEN: A work crew had been working at a construction site for about a week when the company hired a new man to replace a man who’d been hurt the day before. He was a broad-shouldered, powerful young man and was a good worker… but he was also annoying.
He was always bragging that he was stronger than anyone else at the worksite and he especially made fun of one of the older workmen.
Finally one of the older workers had had enough. "Sonny,” he said “why don’t you put your money where your mouth is. I will bet a week’s wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that out building that you won’t be able to wheel back."
The boy smiled and said: “You’re on, old man. Let’s see what you got."
The old man reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, "All right, get in."
APPLY: That young man typifies much of how the world thinks about life. The world believes that power, and wealth, and position are all you need in this life. The world believes in the survival of the fittest - that the man with the most might and the most money … wins.
ILLUS: One man once observed: “The battle isn’t always to the strong, nor the race to the swift… but that’s the way to bet.”
And that truly makes sense. We’re in the midst of March Madness, where the best basketball teams have competed in the “Sweet Sixteen” and now they’re in the midst of the “Elite Eight” and eventually the “Final Four”. Ultimately it will boil down to a contest between two final teams, and the winner of that game will be declared the best college basketball team in the nation.
But if you were to take that final team – the best college basketball team in the nation – and you pitted them against EVEN the worst professional team in the NBA… it’s going to be a blowout.
That college team wouldn’t have the experience, the speed, the height, or the maturity to win that contest.
“The battle isn’t always to the strong, nor the race to the swift… but that’s the way to bet.”
That is – until - you get to Scripture.
When you open the pages of the Bible everything changes.
Time after time in Scripture you find the little guy beating the big guy.
· You have Moses walking into the court of the most powerful ruler of the day and his only weapon is a walking stick.
· You have an inexperienced leader named Gideon facing off against1000s upon 1000s of ruthless warriors with an army of only 300 men.
· You have a shepherd boy named David going into battle against a hardened giant of a man with nothing more than a sling and a stone.
Again, and again, and again, in Scripture… the little guy beats the big guy.
Might and money, power and position mean nothing. They still win.
Because those little buys served God… and God is bigger than everyone else.
ILLUS: One of my favorite scenes in action movies is when the good guy faces a gang of evildoers, and the one bad guy sneers: “What you gonna do now, smart guy?”
And the hero smiles and says: “You better go get a couple more boys and make this an even fight.”
I love that line!
AND that’s how it is in Scripture.
The bad guys swagger out against God’s people and brag that they’re going to destroy them.
And God just smiles and says: “You better go get yourself a couple more armies and make this a fair fight.”
ILLUS: Back in II Chronicles we’re told the story of the king of Assyria named Sennacherib who comes sweeping down out of the north with his omnipotent army. He’s beaten nation after nation and now he’s come to Jerusalem and surrounds it intending to bring it to its knees. He stands at the wall of the city and begins taunting the people of Israel by saying:
“…Do not let Hezekiah deceive you and mislead you like this. Do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your god deliver you from my hand! Who of all the gods of these nations that my fathers destroyed has been able to save his people from me? How then can your god deliver you from my hand?” 2 Chronicles 32:14-15
And God just smiled.
And He sent a single angel to do battle.
And before the night was out – 185,000 of Sennacherib’s best soldiers lay dead on ground. Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace and his own sons assassinated him while he worshipped in his temple.