“We want to be strong in a way that reflects well on us. God wants our strength to reflect well on him.” TweetBut the Israelites didn’t understand God’s purposes. There was probably plenty of murmuring about what in the world they were doing camped at what looked like a dead end. This only grew to fever pitched panic when Pharaoh’s army showed up and pinned them all against the sea. It had all the look of a worst-case scenario: death by sword or death by drowning. And like most of us would feel, the people were scared and angry. They yelled to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt?” (Exodus 14:11). They were trapped in a weak place — a place designed for them by God.
“The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:2)When the Egyptian army showed up, God could have made Israel a nation of Samsons. The Holy Spirit could have rushed upon them all, and they could have whipped Egypt with a bunch of donkey jaws. Why didn’t God do that? Well, remember Samson? When God gave Samson power to overcome 1,000 Philistines on his own, what was the song Samson sung afterward?
“With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey have I struck down a thousand men.” (Judges 15:16)
“We may not realize what it means for God to be our strength until we’re weak enough that he’s our only option.” Tweet“I struck down.” There is no hymn to God by Samson after any of his exploits, and he didn’t survive the one that likely got him mentioned as a model of faith inHebrews 11:32. God was Samson’s strength, but Samson didn’t really recognize it. God wanted Israel to understand that he was their strength and their salvation so that he would become their song. That’s why he put them in the weak, helpless place.
Chances are you are among the massive majority of Christians who rarely or never fast. It’s not because we haven’t read our Bibles or sat under faithful preaching or heard about the power of fasting, or even that we don’t genuinely want to do it. We just never actually get around to putting down the fork.
Did you know that almost six out of ten teens leave the church at some point? Nearly 60% of high school students who grow up going to church will close the doors to a Christian life. And usually, they don't come back (survey by the Barna Group). "Because of people breaking the laws and sin being everywhere, the love in the hearts of many people will become cold." Matthew 24:12