“They are fleeing before us as at the first.”
– Joshua 8:6
The Apostle Paul wrote, “…I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul came to understand who God truly is and who he truly was in relation. It is unlikely that Paul accepted his weaknesses as strengths right away. Many agree that it was probably a “gradual learning process.” Eventually, Paul was able to say with sincerity of heart, “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
When the Nation of Israel went to war against Ai, they seemed to have momentum. After all, they played a part in the destruction of Jericho. This victory caused all of Canaan to fear the Israelites. What Israel failed to remember, however, is that they played a minimal role.
God was the One who brought the walls of the city down and gave it into their hands. That fact seemed to quickly fade from memory as they entered into the next battle. The pride of the people and the sin of Achan caused the defeat. They relied on their own skills and abilities and were sent fleeing from an enemy they should have easily defeated. Eventually, though, God would use that weakness of fleeing to promote victory over Ai.
J. Oswald Sanders wisely wrote, “…God can achieve His purposes most effectively either in the absence of human wisdom, power, and resources, or in the abandonment of reliance on them. Human weakness provides the best background for the display of God’s great power, and so it is a valuable asset.” It seems impossible at times, but it is right in the spiritual realm, human weakness is a mighty tool in the hands of God. May we learn to renounce our skills and abilities and rely only on the Lord!
“It is always upon human weakness and humiliation, not human strength and confidence, that God chooses to build His Kingdom…”
– J. Oswald Sanders