Episode 1. God Speaks to Little People
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So let me ask you a question. If God is God, does He speak? I mean, does He speak here and now to people like you and me? Interesting thought. Does He? It is great to be with you in a new week and …
So let me ask you a question. If God is God, does He speak? I mean, does He speak here and now to people like you and me? Interesting thought. Does He?
It is great to be with you in a new week and look at life again from a different perspective. We live in a world of superstars. We suffer from celebrity syndrome. Many of the people we admire and aspire to, well, they’re in the media, on TV in newspapers and the media tends to pump them up until they’re larger than life. With so many people like you and me, we end up feeling like little people, as though somehow we’re less significant. Maybe God’s like that. Maybe He only shows up for superstars.
Well last week, I introduced you to some superstars in my life, little people in the world’s eyes. This week, I’d like to introduce you to some so-called little people in history who God used mightily.
Let me take you back almost 3000 years to a time when a man by the name of Jehosaphat was the King of Judah. This is a time when Israel had split into two. And the ten tribes at the North were called Israel and the two tribes in the South were called Judah. And this King Jehosaphat, it’s a weird name, isn’t it. “Berni why are you doing this, why are you taking us back to the Bible and all these old-fashioned names. What’s that got to do with today?”
Well it depends on whether you see the Bible as a set of myths like Grimm’s fairytales or Aesop’s fables or a real historical account of what actually happened. And what I see is a real historical account of what actually happened that’s where I am.
So the story of how God did stuff with real people in real situations is His way of speaking to you and me, here and now. So humour me. Jehosaphat let’s call him Josh. So Josh is one of the good guys, he honoured God and God blessed him and all the people and they had peace and rest.
So Jehosaphat as King of Judah, had ten years of peace, there were no wars, it’s a real blessing. Then all of a sudden the Ethiopian army, one million strong decides it’s going to attack Judah. This is serious stuff; this is a war like the ones we see on TV only massive.
An army of one million Ethiopians is about to march on Judah, and Judah has a much smaller army of only five hundred and eighty thousand.
In the book of 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20 and verse 3 in the Old Testament it says that Josh was afraid, he was petrified, and he prayed. Nothing’s really changed has it? People tend to pray when they are afraid, when they have loss or when a disaster happens.
Anyway Josh prayed and all the people gathered with him and they fasted and they prayed. It’s a huge crowd, because they were taking this very seriously. They were saying ‘God this army of a million people is marching on us what are we going to do? We can be taken as slaves, we could be killed, the place could be burned down.
And in this crowd in front of the King as they were praying was a man, just one face, called Jahaziel. Jaza we’ll call him. There were thousand around him and somehow God chose him. The spirit of the Lord fell on Jaza like a bright light. Somehow deep inside him God empowered him.
Now the nation of Judah had recognised prophets. These were men whose job it was to listen to what God was saying. They were gifted to speak on behalf of God, that was their gig. But not Jaza, Jaza was one of the little people. He was a nobody, and God did something. God got Jaza to stand up in front of the King and the whole of the nation of Judah and say something on behalf of God.
Now remember the King isn’t a King like we understand Kings to be today. The King has absolute power and authority. The King has power of life and death over everybody. But Jaza just senses that God has touched him. And in the middle of this tense situation in the middle of a nation and a King who are bowing down before God and they’re petrified of the Ethiopian army marching on Judah. Jaza speaks barely hundred words. This is what it says in 2 Chronicles Chapter 20.
The Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel and he said, ‘Listen all you inhabitants of Judah and you King Jehosaphat, God has something to say to you today. The message that God has for you is don’t be afraid of this great army that’s coming against you, the battle isn’t yours the battle belongs to God. Tomorrow God down against them and the end of the valley, that’s where they will be, this battle isn’t for you to fight, take your positions, stand still and watch the victory that the Lord your God will win on your behalf.’ (2 Chronicles 20: 14-17)
What courage must it have taken for Jaza to stand up and say something like that in front of the King, in front of a nation that was petrified? What if he got it wrong? They would stand there tomorrow at the battle and be defeated by a million strong army. And yet when Jaza got up and said this it rang true in the heart of the King. It rang true in the heart of the people who were afraid. And it goes on to say that the King and all the people bowed down and worshiped God and said thank you and praised God. It was an incredible encouragement to the nation of Judah.
You see they were afraid, they were focusing on what they could see, not what they couldn’t, because what they couldn’t see was God. They were focusing on what they knew was marching over the hill, an army of a million men. God knew that.
So God gets Jaza – a nobody, a little person, He raises up one of the very least so that the people would know that it hasn’t come from the man, its come from God. Because what “nobody” would stand up in front of the King and say something as radical as this? And it gave them an instant encouragement. Here was a small person, used by a big God for a huge impact.
There have been a few occasions in my walk with God where somebody has come along and given me a word of encouragement like that. And I’ve known instantly that it was from God. I remember on my last day at Bible College, I was just rearing to go, you know I want to do stuff for God and a man by the name of Mark came and spoke to me and he said, “Berni I just feel that God wants me to tell you, God is not in a hurry. He’s not in a hurry.” And that has just given me so much peace; it gave me the peace to wait until God was ready to use me in the way that He wanted to use me.
We think God would never use me to do anything significant, but He does. Look at Jaza, one face in a crowd of nobodies. One face in the middle of a country that was in despair. And God, for some reason picks Jaza and pours his spirit out on this man. And the man stands up and speaks boldly and prophetically exactly the words of encouragement that God wanted him to speak. And the next day, if you read on in 2 Chronicles Chapter 20 exactly what he said comes to pass. God fights the battle for His people and they defeat this massive army without raising a finger.
God does amazing things; God uses people we would never expect.
What about you? Do you believe that God still speaks today? Do you believe that a small person like you or me could be used by a big God?
Go on! Do you believe, do you have the faith, do you want to live your life serving a massive and wonderful and exciting and tender and loving God?
God uses little people to do amazing things.