What kind of people does God use in leadership?
The book of Judges has some interesting characters that God uses to deliver His people.
In Judges 3:15, there is a left handed man named Ehud who God uses. Ehud goes to meet the opposition leader and they check him for weapons. Not realizing he is left handed they do a sloppy weapons check and the next thing you know their leader is dead.
God used Ehud’s unique abilities and skills to accomplish his purpose. He was an ordinary man. He was not a spiritual giant.
In Judges 4:4-5, there is a woman named Deborah who leads the nation of Israel. She is familiar with God’s law and people come to her to settle disputes.
At a time when women are treated as property God raises up Deborah to lead the nation. She was an ordinary woman who God used to do extraordinary things.
In Judges 6, there is man named Gideon who God uses to deliver Israel. He is a man who lacked confidence in himself (6:15). He is a man who doubts God so much that he repeatedly is asking God for a signs and wonders to confirm that he is to lead Israel (6:36-40 – Gideon’s Fleece).
Despite Gideon’s doubt in himself and God, he is used to deliver Israel.
In Judges 11:1, we are told of Jephthah. Despite the fact that his mother was a prostitute God uses him to deliver Israel from their enemies. Due to his parentage he was an outcast. But he was a great warrior and the sought him out due to his kill in battle.
We learn from him the danger of making foolish vows and promises to God and others. He tells God that when he returns home that the first thing he sees he will offer as a burnt sacrifice to God. He sees his daughter in 11:34. This foolish vow resulted in the death of his daughter. Killing his daughter was in direct conflict with God’s opposition to human sacrifice.
God would not have required Jephthah to keep this vow. But to save face with his friends had his daughter killed. God does not need us to make promises we can not keep.
In Judges 13:3-5, God raises us a man named Samson to deliver the nation of Israel. He is to let his hair grow long and never to drink wine. Basically he is to be in the world but drastically different from the world. He has great physical strength. Unfortunately he has questionable moral character and lives like the devil himself. He is a lady’s man. Ultimately he is betrayed, his hair is cut off, signaling to the world that he has broken his vows to God. He is blinded and led away into slavery. He prays to God for strength one last time and brings the building down on the heads of his oppressors and himself. His great strength was almost undone by his lack of moral courage.
None of these 5 people fit the expected image of being the deliverer of Israel.
None of them were spiritually or morally perfect. Most of them were common every day people and yet God used them.
Like Ehud, God can use our uniqueness for his glory. There is something you can do with God’s help that no one else can do.
Like Deborah, God would remind you that in Christ, there is neither male nor female. He can use a man or a woman to accomplish his purpose.
Like Gideon, God would remind you that your lack of confidence and even doubt in him would not rule you out for service.
Like Jephthah, God reminds us that he does not care what your family heritage was, or where you came from. He can and will use you for his glory.
Like Samson, God reminds us that we do not have to be spiritual giants or morally perfect for him to use us. I am sure God would prefer we pursue moral and spiritually purity but it does not necessarily rule out God using us.
God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He can use you and me.