Photo by: unsplash-logoQuino Al
If you have ever looked at an Old Testament map depicting the lands at the time of men like Joshua or David what is striking is where God chose to put Israel. It was (and still is) not a safe place. Economically, it was a great place. There were major powers to the north and Egypt to the south. To it’s back lay a vast desert and to the front of it lay the Mediterranean Sea. If you were going to travel north or south for trade in those times, whether by sea or on land, you were going to pass by or through the land of Israel. So, this made that tiny little nation a major crossroads excellent for trade. But those same advantages made it a major target. Why would God choose such a vulnerable position for His chosen people?
If for no other reason, that location required that Israel recognize their dependence upon God for their survival. If you and I take a clear stand for Christ, it puts us in a very influential position because for us to say: “I am with Jesus,” we are staking some very serious ground. At the same time, we are making ourselves extremely vulnerable. By taking that position we put ourselves on notice to the world around us. God puts His people in a place that is both enviable and vulnerable on purpose. Why? “To show that the surpassing power” of our life as a believer “belongs to God and not to us.”
This verse is the preface to Paul’s description of his work for the Lord:
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; (9) persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; (10) always carrying in the body the death of Jesus…” Why? “[S]o that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
Being a believer does not exempt us from the sufferings of this present life. In fact, it can sometimes make us more vulnerable. But that puts us in the enviable position of being plain, earthen vessels overflowing with the grace and the power of God!
Weak and vulnerable? Yes, we are, but you should see the God we serve!