With God, Weakness Is Strength

Pastor Tom Ascol continues his teaching in Judges and Gideon in particular in a message entitled Judges7:1-25, With God, Weakness is Strength. The overarching theme of this passage is that a powerful God, not weak man, is the One at work. He uses His people but it is He that deserves the glory. To make that point God calls Gideon to reduce his army from 32,000 men to only 300 soldiers. God displays His power through our weaknesses.

God’s working through the Hebrews’ weakness is indicative of His work among men in general. No one is spiritually adequate in themselves. All require the strength of the work of God. In fact, God requires recognition of our weakness. Our strength often gets in the way of His work and His glory. Gideon’s battle provides proof. God was not looking for mere victory over Midian. He was working toward purposeful victory. Not only did God save Israel but that salvation was accomplished in such a way that observers had to know it was God at work. The glory of the victory belonged to God and God alone. While we ought to seek to be used by God our work should be aimed always at His glory, not ours.

Even as God works through weakness He reassures by giving His Word. Time and again Gideon was reassured by God even going so far as sending Gideon to spy and listen to a Midianite recount his God-inspired dream. Reassurance would quiet Gideon’s fears just as they should quiet modern Christians. Even as God uses us out of our comfort zone we can have assurance He is in control and has a plan. Gideon’s exploits offer proof then as well as for us now. God is trustworthy. Gideon, being reassured provides yet another example for us; he worshipped and obeyed.

Finally, God rewards our deliberate weakness and dependence on Him by granting victory. Of course, this does not mean we will always feel victorious or even necessarily recognize victory, but having confidence enables us, like Gideon, to plan a strategy and implement it for God’s glory. Gideon was ultimately victorious due to God’s strength. So can we be. God’s power was displayed through His people’s weakness. God reiterates the principle to Paul:“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 7:9). Paul, content in his weakness, yielded himself and was used mightily by the Lord.

Jesus laid down His life for people who know they are weak and helpless. Just as the salvation of Israel came through Gideon’s trust in God’s strength so it is that mankind, trusting in the strength and completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ, can have eternal salvation. Our weakness, our need, should be evident to us as we honestly search our hearts. Jesus waits for us. Turn to Him. Come to Him. He is able to save even to the uttermost.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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