Monday, January 9, 2012

The Bad News Bears of the Bible

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my nickname being given to me based on one of the Bad News Bears characters. As I was reading through I Samuel last week I came across a passage that reminded me again of the Bad News Bears. Take a look and see if you can imagine them in this scene.

I Samuel 22: 1, 2 -1 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.

This was the beginning of King David's army. There was no way these guys were going to win anything, not a baseball game not a battle not even a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors! That is unless God is involved. Take a look at this rag-tag group of misfits first battle:

I Samuel 23: 1-5 - 1 When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” 2 he inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!” 4 Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah.

The Bad News Bears of the Old Testament were victorious, not because of their skill with a bow, sword or spear but because, as verse 4 says, the Lord was going to give them into David's hand.

Fast forward several hundred years and we can see this same idea of God using the unskilled to carry out his plan.

Acts 4: 1-4 - 1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

I would say that was quite a victory. How many pastors today would love to have five thousand people give their lives to Christ. But were these guys, Peter and John, well educated, articulate, professional speakers?

Acts 4:13 - 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

Unschooled, ordinary men. If you look at the Greek meaning of these words you will see that it means they were illiterate, idiots. Nice way to describe someone right?! Could you imagine being introduced at a church service this way if you were the guest speaker. The key to their victory is the end of the verse "they took note that these men had been with Jesus." The bottom line is that God uses people who will be obedient to his calling and leave the victories up to him. He is the coach who will take the Bad News Bears to the Little League World Series.

If you find yourself doubting your skills and abilities, if you find yourself thinking you have nothing to offer the Lord, you are exactly who he wants on his team. It's time to grab a bat and step up to the plate.

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