George Müller was a Prussian Christian who immigrated to England and established orphanages and schools to minister to those whom others forgot. He did so in a way foreign to charitable organizations today: he didn’t solicit funds, nor did he fill a board of directors with people of money and influence; he simply committed his ministry needs to the Lord and prayer. Through the years the Lord was faithful to provide food, clothing, furniture, and sometimes, even money, to meet the needs of his “children”. I was thinking of Müller this morning as I was re-reading the opening chapters of 1 Samuel.
Yesterday, we noted how the book of Samuel begins with the story of an unknown man and his barren wife. Unlike us typically today, the Lord does not feel obligated to turn to the power brokers of society to get things done. I don’t think it is a stretch to call Samuel a bit of an outsider. Eli’s sons would have been the expected choice to continue serving the Lord. Coming from a priestly lineage it is their birthright to serve in the Temple. Sadly, they abused the privilege (and the people) God called them to serve, and thus Eli’s house falls under the Lord’s judgment. In God’s calling of Samuel we witness one of the numerous examples of God taking an outsider (or at least the unlikely) and making much of little. Each in their own ways, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, and David were unlikely choices. In the New Testament God calls fishermen, labourers, and a tax collector to serve as his founding apostles rather than the priests of Jerusalem. Even Christ’s birth was scandalous and lowly. None of privilege, power, or position serve as a guarantee in God’s Kingdom.
Something to Understand:
God’s tendency to call the unlikely and to make much of little ought to be of great encouragement to us. The Lord can, and will, make much of one that trusts in Christ! Consider these remarkable words from Paul to the church in Corinth:
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”