Strong God, Strong People
“The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”
(Daniel 11:32, KJV)
Among the nations of Bible times, it was believed that a god’s strength was reflected in the strength of his people. So if one nation defeated another, it was clear to all that the conqueror’s god was obviously greater. This was why, for example, the Philistines put the Ark of the Covenant they had captured after their victory over Israel into the temple of their gods to show who was the greatest (though events that followed soon led them to think again!).
Our God, too, wants His people to be strong, so that through this others might recognize that He alone is the one true God. He wants it known that no situation, no obstacle, no crisis has strength that is greater than His strength. Note that important little word, however: His strength. This is all about His strength, not our strength. It is as we are strong in Him that we can “do exploits” (KJV) or “take action” (NRSV).
This is what Israel discovered when faced with the impenetrable barrier of the Red Sea ahead of them and the invincible might of Pharaoh’s army behind them, and when Moses simply said, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today … The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still” (Exodus 14:13-14). It’s what they discovered many centuries later on returning from exile, wondering how on earth they would ever be able to rebuild the temple in the light of all the difficulties and opposition they faced. But Zechariah reminded them that it would happen “not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6).
God’s promise is that as we know Him and trust in Him, we shall be strong and we shall do great things. Knowing this promise should prompt us to action, for these are days when we need Christians who will “do exploits” for God – out of His strength, not ours. Claim the promise for yourself today and see what “exploit” God would have you do for Him today, that people might see how great our God is.
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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