When we think of strength, I believe we often think of football players rolling huge tires down the practice field during spring training, power lifters during the Olympics, or military service members facing challenges on the battle field or recuperating from injuries. In Scripture, strength is often partnered with the courage of a lesser opponent facing an insurmountable challenge: David standing alone against Goliath or Gideon's few men rising against the Midianite army. Perhaps the best example is our Savior standing before Pilate, humbly allowing Himself to be falsely accused and crucified.
Our weekly family attribute has been strength with our Scripture from Isaiah 40:
"To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?" says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, And see Who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the Lord, And my just claim is passed over by my God?" Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:25-31 NKJV
This week my heart has been heavy for a path a loved one has been asked to walk. He knew it was going to be hard long before the obstacles were in sight, yet he believed it was a journey God was calling him to make. Submitting to Adonai's plan he could not have envisioned the difficulties: a pandemic that changed the way he would conduct business and collaborate with peers, the requests he would make of his community to reverse their standards and living traditions, the mental and physical health needs of a people group not accustomed to the stress of these changes, combined with the ever growing discord of frustrations and anger from those feeling downtrodden, overlooked and disrespected. After months of planning, meetings, discussions and collaborations, my son is becoming weary.
"Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you [Goliath] into our hands."
1 Samuel 17:47 NKJV
Then the Lord said to Gideon, "By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand..." Judges 7:7 NKJV
And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing.
Mark 15:3 NKJV
Often we run around determined to do things, fix things, make changes, but our efforts are never enough. The Israelite army, including his own brothers, thought David prideful and insolent. Imagine their thoughts as they watched him run toward Goliath with no armor or sword! "Well there he goes!" "This will not end well." "How are we going to explain this to Father?" However, David did not run toward the battle on his own strength. He faced the challenge with the the King of the Universe as his strength. The Midianites ran in fear from Gideon's 300 men because of the greatness of Elohim. The Savior of the world submitted to Pilate and the Chief Priests, not out of weakness but from His omnipotence with the power of heaven at His disposal in order to conquer death and redeem His bride. What seems irrational to man is typically the precise plan of YHVH, Creator and Lord of Hosts.
So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 NKJV
While I was praying for my son this week, asking my ABBA Father to provide wisdom, courage and endurance, our merciful God was sending abundant provisions. Godly mentors, wise leaders and kind friends were coming along side my son with encouragement. In the midst of the battle, when my son needed the King's strength and provision, a few "mighty warriors" full of understanding and courage were walking alongside him providing strength and renew endurance..."those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength."
Merciful Creator, I rejoice that You hear our heartfelt cries out of our weakness and You answer in abundance, providing more than we can ask for or imagine. Thank you. To You be all glory and honor, in heaven and on earth, forever and ever. Amen