“The Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me saying my own hand has saved me.'”
What a great verse. God telling Gideon, “I’m going to make sure that when you lead my people into the land to take the Midianites, it will be clear. It is not because their own hand, your own hand has saved you. It will be clear that it is my hand,” God says, “who has saved you.” God orchestrates our lives so that his glory is put on display so that none of us can say, “I did this.” Ultimately, so that all of us can say, “God alone did this.”
We are not self-sufficient people and we cannot sustain ourselves.
It’s interesting. I think about the tendency you or I or any number of people might have to say, “I did this,” or, “I did that.” I think about talking with a group of professional athletes who are obviously elite in their trade and who work really hard to do that. And I remember saying, “You might be tempted to think I have done this. I’ve worked hard. I get up every morning and I do this or that. I go through this workout regimen. I eat this way. I discipline my body that way.” And I said, “I have no doubt you do all of those things. At the same time, who is it that gives you the breath to wake up in the morning in the first place? And who is it that gives you the strength to walk, much less workout? Who is it that gives you the skill to practice hour after hour after hour with? All of that comes from the hand of God.”
It’s not just for professional elite athletes. This is for every single one of us. There is nothing good in us apart from God’s grace to us. And when we realize that, we realize one, we are living testimonies of his grace and we have grace to celebrate every single day. No matter how hard times get, God’s grace is all over our lives, and all of it is all ultimately for his glory. So we pray according to Judges, chapter seven, verse two, God, we know we need your grace today. We have nothing good apart from you. You are the source of everything that is good in our lives. You’re the source of everything good in the world. And so we look to you in total dependence upon you. We are not, and we confess this together right now, we are not self-sufficient people. We cannot sustain ourselves. Only you can sustain us only. You can satisfy us.
Your goodness, we need on a moment by moment, day by day basis. And we praise you, oh God, for your faithfulness to give it. You are so gracious. You are so generous. You are so merciful. You are so kind. And we worship you today for your generosity in our lives, for your grace in our lives. We give glory to you for every bit of grace in our lives. And there’s so much of it. So much that we take for granted of it. So we pray, God, glorify yourself maximally through us. God, lead our lives, our families, our churches. Lead us in the world. Lead us among the nations so that your glory is made known in and through our lives. God, help us to point others to you and your goodness. God, may we become less and may you become greater today and tomorrow and the next day and the next day, and deliver us from all boasting in ourselves. God, our only boast is in the cross of the Lord, Jesus Christ, in the grace that he has made possible for us.
We love you, God. We praise you for your generous grace. And we pray that you would keep us from all pride in thinking that our own hand has done this or that when anything good we have or we have done comes totally from you. All glory be to your name. Oh God, may your grace toward us be to great effect for your glory through us. We pray this in Jesus’ name, according to Judges, chapter seven, verse two. Amen.
View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.